Google Omnitone Is Web Based 3D Sound

Google just announced their venture into virtual reality with a 3D sound experience anyone can access via the web. It’s called Omnitone.

Google Omnitone Is Web Based 3D Sound

The technology aims at delivering a fully immersive audio experience while using virtual reality on the web. Spatial audio turns your web browser into a complete VR media player with incredible reach and engagement. Google advises their challenge was to introduce the audio spacialization technique called Ambisonics, which allows users to  hear the full 360 degree sound while online.

Google Omnitone Is Web Based 3D Sound

This technique mirrors how we hear in actuality. Say someone is speaking behind you and you turn your head towards them, the aural perception changes as you do so. This is mimicked in Omnitone. Via two online demos, you can experience Omnitone for yourself. One demo allows you to navigate around a violinist while the second is a full on fiesta.

Commenting on the Open Source project, Hongchan Choi and Raymond Toy of the Chrome Team write, “Throughout the project, we worked closely with the Google VR team for their VR audio expertise. Not only was their knowledge on the spatial audio a tremendous help for the project, but the collaboration also ensured identical audio spatialization across all of Google’s VR applications – both on the web and Android (e.g. Google VR SDK, YouTube Android app).”

They also add, “With emerging web-based VR projects like WebVR, Omnitone’s audio spatialization can play a critical role in a more immersive VR experience on the web.”

We can also expect updated iterations of Omnitone to follow with VR view integration, higher-order ambisonics, and mobile web support. In the meantime, the duo say they are excited to see what VR explorers will come up with using their open source. They encourage those who do, to leave a comment below their blog.

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