Virtual Surround
Spherical Video Needs Spherical Audio

Is Google about to get into the sound business?

Based on a new trademark filing lodged by Google with the United States Patent and Trademark Office the answer to that is yes.

Well, yes-ish.

We’re not talking a new set of Nexus-branded Cast Ready Hi-Fi speakers here. Nope, what Google has in the works sounds far more immersive…

Google Dynamic Virtual Surround

The search giant (and-then-some) is putting dibs on the name “Google Dynamic Virtual Surround“.

It’s a chewy name that doesn’t fall around the mouth easily, but is not as distasteful as the “Google ChromeKey”, the initial name of the Chromecast.

Back to the meat of this tip, passed to us by @KevDoy, and the USPTO filing describes the associated service as: “computer software featuring 360-degree spherical audio with simulated 3D surround sound for use in producing videos and animation.

It goes on to mention “software for rendering 360-degree spherical audio with simulated 3D surround sound [on] mobile phones, portable media players, handheld computers” and “software and electronic equipment for processing, transmitting, receiving, and/or reproducing 360-degree spherical audio with simulated 3D surround sound signals.”

Sounds a bit abstract, right? Not if you’d paid attention to Google’s ongoing push in the arena of “spherical video”.

Through the cheap and cheerful Google Cardboard project, to the Google Spotlight Stories app, to the more recent, pricey and professional Google Jump rig array for recording 360-degree video clips — Google is kicking it hard, wooing developers and artists with the tools they need to create virtual reality experiences.

It therefore makes sense that Google would also be working on a way to give said creators audio tools to add life-like audio to match the reactive visuals, and provide users with a way to enjoy them.

Big thanks to Kev Doy 

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