The gargantuan tech behemoth, Meta Platforms Technologies, recently made heads turn in the world of artificial reality systems with a clever innovation that tames the annoyance from the wind noise during outdoor virtual reality sessions. Detailed in their latest Patent, numbered US20230254637A1, this fascinating invention aims to suppress wind noise with the help of uniquely designed microphone inside the Oculus Quest 2.
In essence, this wind-noise defying wizardry is achieved with two interconnected pipes of different sizes, a bit like a double-barreled gun. The larger pipe ferrets both wind and sound, behaving a lot like a regular listening device, but with a sweet twist. Instead of capturing the wind's noise, it allows it to escape, while directing the actual sounds into the smaller pipe. It is this latter conduit that ensures only the relevant audio reaches the microphone.
Imagining it like the ear of a rabbit might help. The large ears they sport are akin to large tubes that collect any sound and wind. But, thanks to the rabbit's sharp hearing, just like the small tube in Oculus, only pertinent sounds are processed, blocking out the wind.
For gamers and virtual reality enthusiasts, this could translate into quite the immersive experience. Imagine playing on your Oculus Quest 2 on a windy hilltop, but instead of the gusty disturbances, only the intended game sounds make it to your ears, elevating the sense of realism to newer heights.
Figures provided with this patent, especially FIG. 3 and FIG. 1A and 1B, depict an acoustic sensor configured to capture audio content from the surroundings. The design suggests the inclusion of the acoustic sensor in headsets, highlighting how the larger tube's inputs are parsed into listener-friendly outputs via the smaller, sound-only tube.
While Meta Platforms Technologies' intriguing innovation in the Oculus Quest 2 presents a potential leap for artificial reality systems, it is worth noting that this is just a patent. Like any patent, it symbolizes a significant stride in brainstorming and ideation, but not necessarily a tangible product on the cusp of hitting the markets.
So, while we wait with bated breath to see if this technological marvel translates into actual Oculus Quest 2 headsets, the potential for enhanced user experiences without wind noise certainly paints an exciting future. It remains to be seen whether the microphone that doesn't get bothered by wind noise gets to be our next device talking point!