Sensaura Ltd - hearing in three dimensions
A team of engineers and scientists has created a new three-dimensional audio technology capable of reproducing sounds all around the listener. It is known as Sensaura 3D Positional Audio. The Sensaura team members are Dr Alastair
Sibbald, David Monteith, Richard Clemow, Peter Clare and Adam Philp.
The Sensaura 3D Positional Audio came about in an attempt to overcome the limitations of conventional stereo. It is based on over eleven years of research and development, process including recording sessions at Abbey Road Studios and a thorough investigation of the human ear and spatial hearing. As a result there are now over 25 patents protecting this engineering breakthrough.
Innovation and impact
Sensaura 3D Positional Audio technology can reproduce sounds all around the listener
even above and below using only two, conventional stereo loudspeakers or a pair of ordinary headphones.
There are many consumer applications for this technology. It has been put onto over 50 million PCs and soundcards world-wide. PC manufacturers are supplying this audio technology as a built-in feature so 3D-audio is replacing stereo as the standard format. PC applications include:
Interactive computer games
providing a truly immersive virtual reality audio
the ability to listen to MP3 sound through headphones with the sound appearing to come from loudspeakers in front of the listener instead of an
"inside the head effect"
DVD surround-sound virtualisation
creating a virtual cinema surround sound for PCs and headphone listeners.
Commercial success and future
Current licensees of this technology make up around 80per cent of the world's PC audio chip market. All of the licensees are outside the UK.
Sensaura 3D Positional Audio has now been selected for use on Microsofts Xbox video game system bringing the impressive 3D audio features to computer games consoles for the first time.
The Sensaura team is now investigating the potential for including this technology in mobile-phones, for mobile-audio player (MP3) applications, for personal digital assistants (PDAs) where 3D audio can either be pre-processed music files, or built into their replay hardware. As a result of this and other improvements in technology, the potential returns are set to continue in a steep upward curve for the foreseeable future.