Future seeing versus future hearing

I was chairing the Visions session of the ACM/UIST conference today, and one of the speakers talked about ubiquitous future mixed reality glasses. Somebody asked him a question about seeing versus hearing.

The question was whether the visual sense would dominate the experience. The answer from the speaker was an emphatic yes.

Now I am on a conference call with researchers at Bose that touches on how to create compelling spatial audio for future wearables. So here the focus is clearly on what everyone hears versus what everyone sees.

I must say that I’ve been having a far more compelling experience in the audio-only High Fidelity experience than the highly visual experiences of AltSpace and similar VR apps. Such apps all include spatial audio, but they don’t focus on it.

Maybe there is something to be said for simply hearing other people in a mixed reality teleconference without the distraction of also seeing their avatars. That might be a great question for a research study!

One thought on “Future seeing versus future hearing”

  1. I believe that a person can be transported to a whole new place with spatial audio. I know that my own focus feels more directed when I can close my eyes and focus on only the sound of someone’s voice. Perhaps you could argue that a person’s focus could be increased by only listening to spatial audio.

    Side note: I found your blog through the “Improved Noise Implementation” project you did at the New York University Media Research Lab. Super cool stuff and I’m happy that I found it!

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