To create a truly immersive environment, an experience relies not only on the visuals but on the audio senses as well. When it comes to films and videogames, having realistic audio is key to building a believable experience. So when characters walk behind you from right to left, you can clearly hear it. VRFocus spoke to Lars Isakson, general manager and business director at Dirac about how they’re implementing their systems into standalone VR headsets, smartphones and how their technology can also be used for augmented reality (AR).
Swedish company Dirac was founded in 2001 when three PhD students got upset about the quality of audio in their speakers. In order to improve the quality, they created algorithms to improve it, thus Dirac was created. They started to approach the automotive industry and are now in all Bentley’s and Rolls Royce cars, soon followed by clients such as BMW and Volvo. Dirac take various cars, measure their size and interiors and create special custom algorithms for the stereo system to sound at its optimal. After its success they moved towards the mobile industry and are now in 250 million smartphones that are mainly in China, and concentrating on virtual reality (VR).
Isakson explains: “For us it makes sense to approach the Chinese market, especially with VR. Because number one we already had customers there and also if you take a look at what sells most in VR today is screen-less viewers that you put your smartphone in. So it made sense for us to work with Android as an operating system. But then I think in China working with HMD’s, head-mounted displays where you have everything integrated into the headset.”
He continues to explain that they’re now approaching the videogame industry and that for now they’re focusing on audio in virtual reality (VR) because it is readily available right now. He does say that it doesn’t really matter whether their solution is applied to VR or AR, fitting both use cases. Headphone manufacturers however been the ones to show the keen interest in Dirac’s solution, as they believe it’ll give them a cutting edge over competitors in the competitive market of today.
Last year in 2017 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Dirac showcased a short demo of how they could do visualisation of speakers in a room. This June Dirac plan to showcase the finished solution of moving sounds in a virtual space. To find out more watch the video below.