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Apple wants to bring virtual sound technology to MacBooks, patent reveals

A new audio processing technology could enhance your experience while listening to music or watching a movie on the laptop.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi | Published: January 1, 2020 4:41:41 pm
Apple, Apple virtual audio technology, virtual acoustics audio system, Apple HomePod Over the past few years, Apple has increased its efforts to improve audio technology on its devices. (Image credit: Patently Apple)

A newly granted patent shows that Apple is exploring ways to split an audio signal into multiple paths, giving the impression that the sound is coming from several areas rather than from the speaker. As described by Patently Apple,  this audio processing technology could enhance your experience while listening to music or watching a movie on the laptop. The patent was filed in 2018 and recently got published by the United Patent and Trademark Office.

“Audio signal processing for virtual acoustics can greatly enhance a movie, a sports event, a video game or other screen viewing experience, adding to the feeling of “being there”, the document reads.

In a patent filing, the company describes how audio can be processed in such a way that it appears to be coming from “elsewhere in an indoor-outdoor space rather than directly coming from a loudspeaker.”Apple is calling this technology a virtual acoustic system that cancels out crosstalk from overlapping soundwaves and makes users feel as if the audio is coming from a different loudspeaker in the room.

This isn’t the first time in recent months Apple has filed a patent related to audio technology. Back in November, Apple was granted a patent for headphones that would make phone calls and Siri more natural. Both patents show that the Cupertino company is trying hard to bring enhanced virtual audio to more Apple devices, including the iPhone, iPad and MacBook Pro.

Over the past few years, Apple has increased its efforts to improve audio technology on its devices. Its HomePod, a smart speaker, demonstrates Apple’s vision of advanced audio technologies like beamforming tech and 3D audio system. In November, Apple launched the 16-inch MacBook Pro, which boasts six speakers and high fidelity sound system.

As usual, a patent is not a proof that certain products make to the market, but they do provide us with an early look at early technologies that might come to the devices in the near future.

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