Dolby Laboratories announced Dolby Virtual Speaker technology which is designed to enhance PC entertainment by reproducing the dynamics and surround sound effects of a 5.1-channel speaker system on a dual-speaker PC. The launch of Dolby Virtual Speaker is part of Dolby's broader "Dolby in PC" initiative, also unveiled today, which is similar to the "Intel Inside" marketing initiative which was so successful in helping to build consumer awareness of that company's processors.
Dolby Virtual Speaker technology is a surround-sound virtualizer, which creates an audio "sweet spot" ideally suited to a single listener. The algorithm used by the system is based on psychoacoustic parameters which creates the impression of additional speakers positioned at the recommended location for a Dolby Digital sound system with five physical speakers.
Dolby Virtual Speaker technology processes sonic signatures, or impulse responses, that contain all relevant information regarding the location of the virtual speakers (i.e., the "speakers" that the user perceives). The DSP processes all of the reflections of a sonic signature, which tricks the brain into perceiving the location of sounds.
Dolby said that it is working with Analog Devices and Texas Instruments to incorporate Dolby Virtual Speaker technology into their DSPs, and that the technology will soon be available in DVD players, digital television, D-VHS players, and multimedia speaker systems.