Instead of uploading Google Earth from your home computer in Cincinnati, Ohio to get an up-close and personal, 360 degree view of Times Square in New York City, you can now take an audio tour of that same area, according to The Creators Project.
David Vale, Rick van Mook, and Caco Teixeira created a 3D soundscape, which can be listened to online at their Sound City Project website. The trio has recorded stereoscopic sounds in various cities, including New York City, San Francisco, Olso in Norway, and Stockholm in Sweden.
The team created a 3D printed "soundhead," which has four ears to capture the sound on four different channels. Designed after human anatomy, the ears sit the same distance apart to include head related transfer function (HRTF), making it easier to pinpoint a sound in space. Each ear has an omnidirectional microphone. During development, all microphones are merged to created one 4-channel audio file.
Depending upon which direction the user is looking at the site, the volume of each channel is changed in the left and right ears. For example, if the user is looking north, he or she will hear the west microphone in the left ear, and east microphone in the right ear.