When we play games in VR, normally the sound is either coming from headphones or stationary speakers. Even with a decent surround sound setup, you often don’t feel immersed in the experience. Electronics company Harman is looking to change this in a big way with speakers that autonomously move around the room.
Harman, a subsidiary of Samsung, recently received a patent for a “mobile speaker system for virtual reality environments”. The speakers would move around the area either on the floor or via drone in the air. Yes, that’s right. Flying Speakers. Now that’s what we call surround sound!
Flying Speakers Move Around to Match VR Experience
According to the patent, the VR game would transmit information to the speakers which would cause them to move to a certain location in the room. The speakers would position themselves to simulate the direction, volume, distance and movement of the sounds the player is encountering.
Say you are playing a game where a helicopter is hovering overhead. The speaker would position itself directly above you. A car drives by. The speaker whizzes right past you emitting the sound. Imagine playing a VR version of Fortnite or Battlefield with this type of audio! It could also make dialogue seem more realistic where you’ll hear the difference if the person is shouting across the street versus standing right next to you.
Of course, this is just a patent. Who knows when or if “flying speakers” will ever actually exist. We’re assuming this idea is aimed at public VR experiences that take place in a large arcade setting. Flying speakers might not be the safest thing in your living room. Even in a large area, a good amount of safety precautions would need to be in place before this could become a reality.