Google’s new SDK adds spatial audio to your VR apps

Google is making it easier to offer more immersive VR experiences with the launch of a new SDK featuring support for spatial audio.

The SDK is called Resonance Audio and aims to simulate the perception of sound in the real world. This includes simulating direction as well as volume drops as you move away from virtual objects projecting sound.

As hearing represents one of the key senses, audio is one of the most important things to get right in a VR experience. With visuals also improving dramatically, the only sense VR will continue to struggle with for the foreseeable future is touch.

"As humans, we rely on sound to guide us through our environment, help us communicate with others and connect us with what's happening around us," wrote Eric Mauskopf, Product Manager at Google, in a blog post. "So when it comes to AR, VR, games and even 360 video, you need rich sound to create an engaging immersive experience that makes you feel like you're really there."

Resonance Audio works across several major platforms including Android and iOS, and it’s also supported in 3D engines like Unity and Unreal.

"The SDK uses highly optimized digital signal processing algorithms based on higher order Ambisonics to spatialize hundreds of simultaneous 3D sound sources, without compromising audio quality, even on mobile."

Google is going all in on VR (and AR) with its various projects — most notably its Daydream VR platform and ARCore framework on Android.

The company showed off a VR experience which demonstrated spatial audio back in September; but this marks the first time Google is making its tools public.

You can get started with Resonance Audio here.

Do you plan on using Google’s new SDK for spatial audio? Let us know in the comments.

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