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Apple patent filing hints at a HomePod theater system

I’ve said before that Apple should introduce both lower-priced HomePods and more expensive ones, the latter for home theater systems (the HomePod Theater?). The company may be considering the latter, as it’s filed for a patent (number 20190180688) for “automatic rendering of 3D sound.” If it ever sees the light of day, such a system would require more than higher-end HomePods.

3D audio effects are a group of sound effects that manipulate the sound produced by stereo speakers, surround-sound speakers, speaker-arrays, or headphones. This frequently involves the virtual placement of sound sources anywhere in three-dimensional space, including behind, above or below the listener.

Here’s Apple’s summary of the patent: “Simulating a 3D audio environment, including receiving a visual representation of an object at a location in a scene, wherein the location represents a point in 3D space, receiving a sound element, and binding the sound element to the visual representation of the object such that a characteristic of the sound element is dynamically modified coincident with a change in location in the scene of the visual representation of the object in 3D space.”

Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.