A showcase prototype of the 3D headphones
Although 3D video is becoming increasingly popular, the accompanying audio may not complement the visual depth. This is because the auditory images from existing sound systems tend to sound near to the screen. While headphones can produce realistic 3D sound effect, there are problems such as in-the-head experience and front-back confusion. In-the-head experience refers to far and near objects sounding similar, while front-back confusion refers to the tendency for sound to appear behind the head, even though the auditory image is from the front.
This pair of 3D headphones consists of a group of strategically positioned sound emitters placed around the human ear. This arrangement projects sound directly into the concha of the human ear to produce individualised cues, reducing in-the-head experience and front-back confusion. This enhances the realism and sound localisation of visual objects moving in the 3D space.
A set of proprietary algorithms were also developed to distribute any existing audio format into the emitters of the 3D headphones. This allows an enhanced audio experience from existing audio content using the 3D headphones.
This video shows a demonstration of the Android application to produce 3D sound
A prototype of the 3D headphones and an Android application to demonstrate the proprietary algorithms have been produced. This was developed by A/Prof Gan Woon Seng from Nanyang Technological University, and was supported by NRF’s Proof-of-Concept grant scheme and NTUitive Pte Ltd.