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Multimedia Virtual Reality System

Combine 5.1 headphones with 3D display glasses
  [vote for,

Basically it's a helmet-type system, with 5.1-channel (6.1, for those of you with Audigy2 cards) surround-sound headphones, plus one of those 3D displays for the visual component. There could be some kind of position sensor built in so that as you turn, the image AND the sound change.
galukalock, Feb 20 2003

3D Sound explained... http://www.planetha...o/muse/index2.shtml
read the bit about the pinna effect. [st3f, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Dolby Digital Heaphones http://www.akg-acou...phones/hearo999.htm
They're even wireless! [Cedar Park, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]


       If you want the apparent source of the sound to change as you move, why not use speakers?
angel, Feb 20 2003

       You don't need 5.1 headphones (whatever the hell they are); regular headphones can fake 3D sound especially with motion detectors, since 3D perception of sound depends on phasing effects and head movement.
pottedstu, Feb 20 2003

       Okay; if that's so, tell me how to make sound seem to come from behind, using only stereo headphones.   

       [angel], there ARE speakers in the set.
galukalock, Feb 20 2003

       galukalock: You change the apparent position of a sound by using changes in amplitude, delay and tone (as per pottedstu). It is primarily the tone of the sound that will affect whether it seems to come from in front or behind. I'll see if I can find a link... (linked)   

       Croissant for attempting to treat sound with the same approach as vision... now what happened to that sound rendering engine that bounced the sound of the walls in the game...
st3f, Feb 20 2003

       //there ARE speakers in the set//
So what are the headphones for?
angel, Feb 21 2003

       Um, the headphones have little speakers in them.   

       I'm sorry you misunderstood (I misworded?).
galukalock, Feb 21 2003

       [st3f], great article. Seems I heard something along those lines on a Discovery-channel-type show.   

       However, I was going for something that would be compatible with what most serious gamers already have: 5.1-channel sound cards. The technology mentioned in the article, although very effective (realistic), is not (yet) something most people will buy; thus it isn't something most game writers will build-in support for.   

       I do like it, though.
galukalock, Feb 21 2003

       I obviously failed to make my elf clear. You want to attach speakers to your head. You then want to move your head (and the speakers) while simulating the effect of the speakers *not* moving. Why not just use stationary speakers?
angel, Feb 21 2003

       This system is designed to be, among other things, compact and portable. A separate speaker system wouldn't help in that area. I finally see what you mean, though, so thanks.
galukalock, Feb 21 2003

       Where would you go wearing these? I would imagine it's not very safe to walk down the street with them. Plus, aren't you going to plug them in to a "5.1" sound card?
Worldgineer, Feb 21 2003

       I'm sure this would be baked somewhere...   

       I find the increasing popularity of the concept of 'virtual reality' a little disturbing. Pretty soon, we'll all be wandering around in the Matrix, with little plugins sticking out our heads.   

       Galuk, regardless of the numbers of speakers and their position, unless you've had ears recently grafted on, you listen in stereo anyways. The only reason you can tell which direction sound is coming from at all is because of your brain's processing of what st3f mentioned.
RayfordSteele, Feb 21 2003

       And naked, if you believe 2 fries in my <shameless plug>Bareplane idea</shameless plug>. The future is a strange place indeed.
Worldgineer, Feb 21 2003

       [Worldgineer], I wasn't talking about *that* kind of portable; more like easily-carried-to-your-friend's-house portable. And yes, you'd be using a 5.1 sound card.   

       [RayfordSteele], although we hear in *basically* stereo (having only two ears), because of what you and st3f mentioned, we do hear in 3D; therefore, for sound to be perceived as environmentally realistic, you need:   

       A. one of those fancy sound cards (see link) or something that uses the same principles; or   

       B. 5.1 sound card and headphones.   

       Also, I think I heard something about some Bell Labs (?) tests in the 1920's which showed that for sound to be *reasonably* realistic, you need at least 4 channels; and for *really* realistic, ~24 channels.
galukalock, Feb 21 2003

       I'm sorry to have to press the point, but your friend has a 5.1 soundcard and no speakers?
Worldgineer, Feb 21 2003

       Obviously this device is useful in a very specific circumstance.
waugsqueke, Feb 21 2003

       [World], <shrug> I dunno. You tell me: if you had one of these and your friend had 5.1 and speakers, would you rather:   

       try to listen to them through the helmet, and try to keep in the "sweet spot", and with no "sound-position-changing-as-you-turn-to-see-what's-making-the-sound" effect; or   

       Have the sound coming from within the helmet, complete with position sensor for the sound-position-changing effect?
galukalock, Feb 21 2003

       -------The fake 3D sound thing works ok with 2 speakers (headphones) but it's not too convincing. The best 3d sound demo I've heard was in a booth in MGM Studios in FL - amazing, but that used several speakers in the headphones like the new Dolby digital sets mentioned above. That's really the way to go. EAX, and DirectSound3D are basically cheesy...   

       As for watching stuff in 3D helmets, BLEAH! I own most of them, and have tried the others at trade shows (I'm VRMan, what do you expect =) and while they are truly amazing in a demo, or a quick game, watching an entire movie (done this...) provides you with an incredibly great headache and makes you want to scratch your eyes out of your head, heh heh.   

       As for head tracking, this is the best part - it's easy to do and is what makes VR so immersive and fun.   

       Combining head tracking, improved optics, and good surround capabilities would make for a killer HMD. Someone get to work on it right now then send me one =)   

       Sorry for the long post, -=VRMan=- http://www.vrman3d.com (3D Screensavers that look great in stereo 3D...)
vrman3d, Feb 22 2003

       Wow. I'd love one of those screensavers. But I don't have a 3D set. Darn...   

       Well, once this is baked I'll have that AND surround sound, which I've been wanting for a while.
galukalock, Feb 22 2003


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