27.07.16

Google adds spatial audio to web VR

Woman in VR headset looking up and interacting with Facebook Youtube Steam VR content
Credit: Alexey Boldin / Shutterstock.com

Google has added its weight to the development of spatial audio systems in a move that will bring the technology to the web. The Chrome WebAudio team has revealed details of its Omnitone project that allows browsers to be transformed into a complete VR media player with immersive audio and video.

The open source project uses ambisonics for full-sphere surround sound that developers can add to their projects in any browser. 

Headphones must be worn to appreciate a technique that uses eight virtual speakers to render the final audio stream binaurally. 

The Chrome WebAudio team joined forces with the Google VR team to draw on their expertise and ensure identical audio spatialisation across all of Google’s VR applications.

In the future the team hopes to add VR view integration, higher-order ambisonics and mobile web support to Omnitone. 

You can find out more in a post on Google’s Open Source Blog and try out the system for yourself with two demo videos posted by the company.