EDGE Sound Research is pioneering “embodied audio,” a new technology that changes the way we experience virtual reality. When we think of “virtual reality,” the focus only seems to be on engaging our sense of sight. EDGE Sound Research’s embodied audio will revolutionize how we experience audio in VR worlds through its use of audible and tactile frequencies.
One of the things that sets this technology apart is that it stems from co-founder Ethan Castro’s experience. Castro had issues with hearing and, as a result, he had to resort to sound. Moreover, Castro loved music and even became a professional audio engineer and composer. He researched how sound can be perceived by combining hearing and feeling. Eventually, he teamed up with co-founder Val Salomaki to start EDGE Sound Research.
Bringing Embodied Audio to Life
Embodied audio adds realism to sound. This groundbreaking technology combines the auditory and physical sensations of sound in an “optimized and singular embodiment.”
“This means a user can enjoy every frequency range they can hear (acoustic audio) and feel (haptic and tactile audio, also known as physical audio),” said Castro and Salomaki.
Castro and Salomaki go on to explain that they invented a new patent-pending technology for embodied audio, which they dubbed ResonX™. This new technology, which has been nominated for the CES Innovation Award, has the capability to transform any physical space or environment into an embodied audio experience that has the ability to reproduce an expansive range of physical (7-5,000+ Hz) and acoustic audio frequencies (80-17,000 Hz).
Crafting New Experiences With the ResonX™ System
“The ResonX™ system is a combination of hardware and software. A user places the ResonX™ Core (hardware component) on the surface of a material and the ResonX™ software calibrates the surface of the material to resonate reliable hi-fidelity sound that the user can hear and feel,” said Castro and Salomaki.
For example, when someone uses the ResonX™ system at home, they can attach the ResonX™ Core to their couch, effectively turning it into an embodied audio experience. So, when they sit on the couch while watching their favorite show, say a basketball game, they will feel as if they’re there in person. Users can hear every single sound, including the ball being dribbled and even the more subtle sounds like the squeaking sounds made by sneakers.
According to Castro and Salomaki, if a user wants to take their movie-viewing experience to the next level, here’s what they can do:
“An individual can attach the ResonX™ to flooring and then be fully immersed in walking around a new planet by hearing and feeling every moment to make the experience feel life-like.”
Aside from enriching users’ experiences in the metaverse, this new technology finally enables us to engage our other senses, thus adding a new dimension to how we experience music, games, live entertainment, and more.
“This opens the door to new possibilities in storytelling and connectivity around the world as an experience can now begin to blur what is real because of three senses simultaneously informing a user that a moment is happening. Not as an effect, but as an embodied reality,” shared the EDGE Sound Research co-founders.
Embracing Innovation in the VR Space
With ResonX™ and its ability to bring embodied audio to life, users can now have richer experiences in virtual worlds. Not only will they be engaging their sense of sight, but they’ll also get the opportunity to experience these virtual worlds using their sense of hearing and touch. Now, users have the chance to transform their physical environment into a cohesive sound system.
The good news is, users can enjoy the embodied audio experience in many public venues. According to Castro and Salomaki, they’ve already deployed the ResonX™ in various sports stadiums, bars, and art installations. Furthermore, if you want to bring home the ResonX™ experience, you can get in touch with EDGE Sound Research for a custom installation.
What will embodied audio look like in the future?
It’s likely going to become more widely accessible. “Over time, we will release a more widely available consumer version of the ResonX™ system that will make this ResonX™ technology more accessible to all,” said Castro and Salomaki.