Hit of Christmas Sales 2010

Author: Ury Smirnov. Category: Smart things. Date:26.05.2008, 21:18.

Below a revolutionary interface for managing MP3-players and other audio devices is proposed. The necessity to use for selection tunes cumbersome and inflexible access using familiar buttons Next / Previous and to remember the contents of our play-lists will disappear with its appearance. I’ll start with the analogy so you would not think the idea is too crazy.

Imagine that you’re leading the meeting. Suddenly, some participants begin to express in eager rivalry their suggestions. Agree, it is not difficult to identify in the chorus the most “reasonable” voice and give him the floor.

A closer example. Imagine playing in the room at the same time several music devices: each of them its own melody. No need to be a conductor to isolate in this cacophony the tune that currently touches you most.

Perhaps the idea is already clear?

Sooner or later will be a portable audio player, controlled not only by the usual buttons and sensors, but also… by the headphones. Headphones will support high-quality surround sound and track the movement of the user’s head with built-in electronic gyroscopes.

So, the player calibrated to the peculiarities of his own perception, and saved the profile settings, the owner turns on multi-play – that is, loading at the same time multiple records of a music album (some FM-radio stations, audio books, etc.). What does he hear in the headphones? A few tunes at the same time, spread in 3D-audiospace.

By choosing the most “attractive” source of sound – in the literal sense, “reaching out” to it – the user turns his head in the direction of the corresponding point of a virtual audio space. Headphones give the player the command to strengthen the selected song and mute all other sounds. If the user is satisfied with this audio issue – it confirms the choice with easy affirmative nod and enjoys the song as normal listening. If not, he returns to multi-mode to select another song.

The implementation of this interface will provide unusual sensations of audio comfort which now have nothing to compare. May be only with a free “surfing” on audio waves or controlled “teleport” from one to another audio space.

Studies will show a limit on the number of audio sources, which the average user is able to distinguish between stable for a few seconds (while the tune is selected). For someone it will be 5–7, someone – 12–15. Naturally, the player settings will be provided the opportunity to increase or decrease the number of sources in accordance with the individual characteristics of perception. Multiply to this number, the player will automatically split albums tracks into groups and the user can switch between these groups, for example, slightly declining his head back. The user will be also able to curtail / deploy zone of 3D-hearing: from 360 degrees in the “dance” mode – up to 170 degrees in the front listening to on the street.

Hopefully, future gadget makers will have the courage to secure for the separate gestures all other functions of the player: Input / Output from multi-mode, loophole / unloophole of tunes / albums, easing / reinforcement of sound, etc. Angularly mesmerizing “dance of the head”, by which the audience will recognize the holders of new gadgets (like iPad owners at the time were being singled out by their distinctive players design) – will become part of the fashion and unwitting public message: “I trudge. Join Today!”

I think that not having behind budget for the global advertising campaign, to take up the development of this gadget does not make sense. However, developers of software audio players have reason to experiment with 3D-sound in the spirit of the above (but instead gyroscopes they have to use circular and radial motion of a computer mouse). Who knows if you will have good luck – it is possible that the guys from Apple, Sony or Creative would have to do in your address an offer you can not refuse. 🙂

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