Apple’s spatial audio navigation patent exposure


Apple Vision Pro

Apple has a recent patent application called “spatial audio navigation”. This patent describes a system that uses binaural audio devices (such as Apple Vision Pro headphones or AirPods) to provide users with navigation tips. This system begins with the user’s current location and target location. Then provides audio cues to guide the user along the path to their destination.

spatial audio navigation

Spatial audio is a tech that can simulate the direction and distance of the sound source. This way, users can feel that the sound is nearby or far away. According to IT Home, unlike regular voice navigation, spatial audio navigation will not interrupt the music, audiobook or phone call that the user is listening to. It will not also give the user clear instructions (such as “turn left ” or “turn right”). However, it will guide the user to turn by changing the position or volume of the sound.

For example, when the user is listening to music, the Apple device can place the sound source of the music in front of the user. This will allow the user to move along the path. Also, when it is necessary to turn, move the sound source to the side of the user. This will allow the user to follow the sound naturally. The patent claims that it will not affect the user’s listening enjoyment. However, it will provide a more subtle way of conveying navigation info.

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Apple believes that this spatial audio navigation system is not only more convenient but also safer. The company claims that voice may cause users to blindly follow without recourse to the environment. This may result in accidents. Also, using voice will need the user to decide whether it is safe to follow the voice.

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Other aspects of the patent

The patent also describes how other aspects of the sound, such as frequency and reverb, can be adjusted to affect the virtual direction and distance of the sound. The patent application has six inventors, including Avi Bar-Zeev and Rahul Nair, who have previously worked on patents related to tracking the user’s gaze in Apple’s AR.

Final Words

Apple’s spatial audio navigation patent describes a system that uses binaural audio devices to provide navigation tips. The patent also describes how other aspects such as reverb and frequency can be adjusted. In all, it is important to note that this is only a patent application. At the moment, there is no need for conversations with regard to its limitations and implementation. This is because it is only a patent and just like with all patents, there is no guarantee that it will ever see the light of day. There are so many promising patents that never hit the market. Thus, we have to keep our fingers crossed and see how this patent will progress.

Author Bio

Efe Udin is a seasoned tech writer with over seven years of experience covering a wide range of topics in the tech industry. From mobile phones to tablets, Efe has kept a keen eye on the latest advancements and trends, providing insightful analysis and reviews to inform and educate readers.

Disclaimer: We may be compensated by some of the companies whose products we talk about, but our articles and reviews are always our honest opinions. For more details, you can check out our editorial guidelines and learn about how we use affiliate links.

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