Patent published on October 26, 2023

Meta's Quest 2 Patent Might Minimize Wind Noise

In an age of remote work and virtual reality, nothing is more frustrating than outdoor wind noise interfering with your online meetings or gaming. A recently published patent, numbered US20230345168A1, from Meta Platforms Technologies purposefully addresses this problem.

Simply put, when you are outside trying to have a phone call, wind noise can make it difficult for the person you're talking to hear you properly. One reason is that the hole (or receiving port) where the microphone on your device is placed does not differentiate between sound waves and wind noise. Typically, the wind noise goes straight in and interferes with the spoken words making it tricky for someone on the other side to understand you.

Understanding this, Meta Platforms Technologies has designed a nifty device that can cleverly sort out this mess. This device consists of a main tube (or primary waveguide) connected to many smaller tubes (or secondary waveguides). The main tube captures regular sound waves and some of the wind noise which goes to an 'acoustic sensor', a special component that helps the device receive sound. Meanwhile, majority of the wind noise is ushered away through the smaller tubes. The result is a clearer, crisper sound to the listener on the other side of the call.

The patent suggests that this invention could be used in Meta's Oculus Quest 2, a high-end disposable-type headset, aiding our interactions in the virtual world without the unnecessary intrusion of wind noise.

Life after this inventive technology could be a tad bit easier. Imagine having important business calls while enjoying a breezy day at the park without the fear of being misunderstood. Or consider how smooth gaming sessions would be even with your windows wide open on a blustery day. The possibilities are exciting!

Drawing from the figures provided in the patent, it could be inferred that the device can be implemented into an audio system, enhancing the performance and reliability of acoustic devices for near-field voice pick-up.

That said, it's important to note that inventions in patents may not necessarily end up in products in the market. Their actual implementation and consumer availability hinge on a myriad of factors like regulatory approvals, production feasibility, and commercial attractiveness. However, this one certainly paints an appealing future free of bothersome wind noise in our calls.

P.S. A patent is a document showing a new and original idea, machine, or process that has been legally protected, giving the owner rights to decide how and if it's used by others. However, it doesn't always mean this idea will end up in a product that we could buy and use.

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