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Robotic speakers will soon be used for more realistic VR sound

Now, you can enjoy the sound of robotic speakers in your room whilst you are relishing in the VR environment. This week, Harman, a subsidiary of Samsung, has received a patent award to map VR games’ sounds to robotic speakers. To deal with the shortcoming of normal speakers for virtual reality, this technology is invented. The traditional speakers no more work for spatial audio.

The patent states that the content of audio that is produced through audio devices may not actually represent the environment or objects that are present in VR space. For instance, sounds emitted by speakers may not actually reflect the direction, distance and motion that happens between an object and user in a virtual space.

However, as a solution, Harman is trying to map to robotic speakers the virtual reality soundscapes, and then, move these speakers in a room. As per patent, this solution can produce different acoustic occurrence, including sounds bouncing off the wall, objects producing sounds, obstructions that has the power to soak up the sound and others.

The patent’s images show in abstract terms how the speakers could hover around the user. Image: US Patent and Trademark Office

The patent tells that the user hearing the audio closely matches with the expectations of users what they see in a virtual environment. Therefore, the audio promotes an immersive VR experience. But it necessarily does not mean that the system will emit every noise, and one of such examples is noted in the patent’s monologue. As per the patent, a character’s speech is apt for output through a robotic speaker than a speech relating to an inner monologue from a user representation as there is no need for distance and space in an inner monologue.

The patent also sheds lights on the method to track the robotic speaker’s location in the room, and the methods to place the speakers. It turns out that these robots do not need to move around in their wheels. Researchers from Harman imagines from one-wheeler to a platform that is based in multi-rotors, co-axial rotors or standing gas jet.

What does this actually mean? Will the vertical reality users have plenty of drones speaker flying over their heads? No, this will not happen. First, it is good to figure out that organisations patent technologies do not always become real products. It can be said that a number of such problems can be resolved conveniently with smarter spatial sound and a working headphone.


Virtual reality based on location has evolved to become a high-tech enjoyment. Thus, it has become easy to visualise that organisations such as The Void may stop using physical props. It may also start mapping audio from traditional speakers to develop an immersive entertainment experience. This may someday turn out to evolve robotic speakers which have the capability to adjust themselves so that the sounds from the virtual world seem more realistic.

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