What Does AirPods Pro Spatial Audio Mean for Augmented Reality?

Em Lazer-Walker digs into the AirPods Pro spatial audio feature announced at WWDC 2020. What does it mean for AR?

As Apple improves their indoor location technology, [spatial audio] could also easily become a big part of making indoor wayfinding viable before they ship AR glasses, since the ARKit model of “hold your phone out in front of you while you walk through a space” is both socially and physically awkward.

I can’t wait for spatial audio to arrive. I use an app I’ve mentioned before that uses 3D audio, and I wonder if Naturespace will make use of this technology.

Nahimic Brings Enhanced 3D Audio To Your Mac’s Movies and Music

Nahimic, long-time makers of enhanced audio for video games, on Sunday launched Nahimic for Mac. Built to enhance music and movies, Nahimic brings real-time processing of your Mac’s audio from any app. They demoed it with movies and music and the results were impressive. Their 3D Sound truly made a noticeable difference out of MacBook Pro speakers at CES Unveiled, a very noisy environment. Tests on our own back at the hotel confirmed what we heard earlier: this sounds fantastic, there’s no noticeable latency, and the app performs well. A free trial is available and one-year subscription will set you back just US$35.

Yanny or Laurel? How About Either with this Online Tool

Not to be left out of the mem fun, the New York Times made a tool that lets you hear Yanny or Laurel. Just slide to the right to hear “Yanny,” and to the left for “Laurel.” It’s interesting to hear how the sound changes as you cut out the higher or lower frequencies. The “Yanny” in the NYT tool sounds more like “Hugh-We” to me. Regardless, it sounds less and less like “Laurel” as you slide farther to the right.

Yanny or Laurel Explained

Are you hearing Yanny or Laurel in the recording that’s zipping around the internet? The short answer is “Yes.” The longer answer involves a little audio knowledge.