Virtual Reality

VR is generally associated with 3D glasses, also known as head-mounted displays that deliver content through visual cues. The auditory perception, however, must not be forgotten. Hearing contributes much to how we perceive our environment. Therefore, sound has a great importance when creating a realistic simulation.

Augmented Reality (AR) aims to enhance our reality through virtual content, such as navigation information presented by 3D glasses. Here sound is equally important as in true virtual worlds.

Creating a realistic VR/AR simulation demands more than a three-dimensional sound reproduction. Users do not only listen to a 3D sound recording. They explore the presented scene, move around, change the environment and interact with objects. Instead of playing back a recording, the sound has to be rendered in real-time for the current position of the listener. The 3D reproduction using headphones or loudspeakers only marks the last step.

Before, further aspects have to be taken into account: the generation of sound by virtual sources (e.g. real-time sound synthesis, radiation pattern), its propagation in the virtual environment (e.g. room acoustics in buildings, sound transmission through walls and doors), Doppler effects resulting from the motion of objects. Simulating these acoustic phenomena is often very complex. How these can be simulated realistically in real-time and on a variety of different computing devices (e.g. smart phones, tablet, PCs, etc.) is a central research topic. Expertise in digital signal processing and a knowledge of the human auditory perception is the foundation for this research.