Technology company Noveto Systems launched SoundBeamer 1.0 for the desktop, so the device broadcasts sound directly to the listener without the need for headphones, much like a personal voice bubble.
The device locates and tracks the user’s ear, sending sound waves to create small pockets of sound waves.
Technology allows office workers to listen to music or conference calls without interrupting colleagues and allowing anyone to play a game, movie or music without headphones and without hearing anyone else in the vicinity.
The desktop, which can be paired with a device via Bluetooth, will be ready for consumers to purchase in time for next year’s Christmas.
The company says on its website: There have been two ways so far to hear the sound – loud and overtly through the speakers, or quietly and discreetly with headphones.
“At Noveto Systems, we offer a third and new way of listening using a patented technology we call SoundBeaming, and this is a completely new type of sensory listening that changes the way people experience sound,” she added.
The loudspeaker emits ultrasound waves outside the range of human hearing, and a three-dimensional sensor unit built into the device locates the user’s ear and tracks them in real time to make the waves audible to the user and not to anyone else.
Ultrasound converges into small pockets of sound outside the ears, allowing the user to hear the sound again as normal sound waves without disturbing others in the vicinity and freeing the user from the headphones.
Move your head in any direction and pockets of sound will magically follow it, the company says, and the company gave the Associated Press a demo of the SoundBeamer 1.0 prototype.
The Associated Press said: The sensation of listening is from a science fiction movie, and the 3D sound is so close that it appears inside your ears while also appearing in front, above and behind them.
Noveto Systems expects the device to have many practical uses, from allowing office workers to listen to music or conference calls without disturbing others to letting someone play a game, movie or music without disturbing others.
The lack of headphones means that other sounds in the room can be heard clearly, and the company said: The sound can be heard in stereo or 3D spatial mode that produces 360-degree sound around the listener.
By changing the setting, the sound can follow the listener as they move their head, and it is also possible to move away from the beam path and hear nothing at all.
You don’t need to tell the device where you are, as it follows you wherever you go without disturbing others.
The concept of streaming audio is not new, but it is attractive for people who do not want to wear headphones to hear audio from high-targeting speakers.
The concept has been implemented in very limited commercial and industrial scenarios, with no appreciable consumer impact, and Noveto Systems wants to change that, so that SoundBeamer 1.0 will be the first branded consumer product.