The SONICOM project: real virtual socialising

Our members from the Imperial College London and the University of Malaga have won a €5.7million EU Horizon 2020 grant to develop AI-informed immersive audio techniques. The project, called SONICOM, will see researchers develop immersive 3D sound for virtual and alternative reality situations like online meetings, lectures, and gaming.

Transforming auditory-based social interaction and communication in AR/VR

Immersive audio is our everyday experience of being able to hear and interact with sounds around us. Simulating spatially located sounds in virtual or augmented reality (VR/AR) must be done in a unique way for each individual and currently requires expensive and time-consuming individual measurements, making it commercially unfeasible.

SONICOM will use artificial intelligence (AI) to make online spaces more realistic – by, for example, having colleagues sound like they are speaking to your right or left, possibly also at different distances, like in a real meeting space.

Lead investigator Dr Lorenzo Picinali, of Imperial’s Dyson School of Design Engineering, said: “Our technology could help users have more real, more immersive experiences that convey the nuanced feelings and intentions of face-to-face conversations.”


Visit SONICOM website