When it comes to augmented reality, the thinking goes to projected images, but Apple could extend the concept to sound, according to a patent that Patently apple had access. The patent refers to projected and positioned virtual sound, which allows users to hear people as if they were located at certain points in a room or outdoors, for example. This is the second registered patent, the first for headsets, this new applied to MacBook speakers.
As explained, the audio signal processed through virtual acoustics can be used during the projection of a movie, sporting event, video games and other audiovisual experiences, which increase the sensation of being present in the middle of the action. The technology is based on a similar noise cancellation system, in which one side of the speaker system stops projecting sound to only hear from the other.
Algorithms and digital processing are used for the new system to create audio signals in the intended direction based on human perception of sound pickup. And for that, the sound is divided not in two (left and right column), but in three, with the third based on the mixture of the two.