Valve wants to improve the sound quality for virtual reality

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2017-02-27 16:00:05

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While all the other major players in the VR market are busy looking for wireless solutions and trying to improve the visual quality of their projects, the company decided to rethink the sound plays an equally important role. Because sound adds to the atmosphere, allowing a person to be absorbed in non-existent worlds and isolate themselves from reality. And Valve engineers understand that perfectly.

The process has already started, as Valve released the SDK, the Steam Audio kit for Windows platforms, Linux, Mac and Android. While the system works only in Unity, but here should go support today's popular Unreal Engine 4 and other game engines. What is the advantage of this sound system in front of existing solutions on the market? The fact is that the experts Valve managed to implement sound changes within the game based on physics. It will change the face of various obstacles in its path and given the materials that cover walls and objects.

Roughly speaking, the player will hear the sound changing depending on where it is relative to its source and what objects surround it. If the source is right in front of you, the sound is crisp and clear, and if you go around the corner – the sound immediately changes, becoming more mellow and quiet. Sounds pretty primitive, but in many modern video games the sonic was much less impressive. Sony, for example, also trying to improve sound for virtual reality. Specifically for this, along with the PlayStation VR headset is supplied "computing unit" that transforms the sound in the headphones of the player in binaural (such as it is perceived by human ears according to their physical characteristics). Steam Audio kit also supports a binaural rendering of the sound based on the position of the head of the player in the virtual space.

We Must assume that the use of this system you will find not only in the world of VR gaming, but in games is totally normal, as the transmission quality of the sound improves the atmosphere significantly. The SDK can be downloaded from the manufacturer's website today.

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