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A customer wearing a pair of AirPods Max headphones at an Apple store in South Korea. Photo by Bloomberg

TI Reality Check: Time to Talk About AR Audio

By  |  March 15, 2021 11:01 AM PDT
Photo: A customer wearing a pair of AirPods Max headphones at an Apple store in South Korea. Photo by Bloomberg

Welcome back!

The visual side of VR and AR captures the bulk of the attention, but audio merits a lot more discussion than it gets, something that a recent Apple patent reminded me of. First though, let’s talk about one kind of audio technology that’s on the market today: smart hearing aids.

While hearing aids are today mainly used by people with hearing loss, new versions of the technology powered by artificial intelligence can do much more than amplify sounds. Last year Facebook chief scientist Michael Abrash told The Information how important such audio innovations could be to AR, saying the advantage AR audio will have over conventional hearing aids is that it “can actually pick out the meaningful signal for you.”

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