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Apple patents virtual surround sound technology for use in Macbooks

Apple Macbook
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple have won the patent for a virtual audio system that can give the “illusion that sound is emanating from elsewhere in an indoor or outdoor space.” That sounds an awful lot like virtual surround sound technology to us, which is very exciting. 

The patent claims that the virtual acoustic system will be greatly enhance user experiences when watching movies, TV, or listening to music by giving the listener the feeling of “being there”, right in the middle of the action. It achieves this by sending out multiple audio signals at different angles, giving the listener the illusion that the sounds are coming from different locations around them.

An image supplied within the patent, seen below, demonstrates what this process looks like:

(Image credit: US Patent Office)

Apple applied for the patent way back in August 2018, so the technology has been in the company's hands for some time and might already be making its way into the next generation of Apple products. Of course, there’s no guarantee that this technology will ever see the light of day as tech giants like Apple often patent unique ideas that don’t ever reach consumer products. 

We’ll know more later this year when Apple unveils their upcoming technology lineup. 

Ian Stokes is the Tech Editor here at Top Ten Reviews. He has extensive experience in tech and games journalism, with work published on IGN, Kotaku UK, Waypoint, GamesRadar, Trusted Reviews, and many more. You'll find him covering everything from smartphones and home computers to 3D printers and headphones. He's also our resident cocktail expert.