Meta has added spatial and localizable sound capabilities to its proprietary Presence Platform with the introduction of the “XR Audio SDK.” The new SDK is intended to facilitate the incorporation of immersive audio features into virtual, augmented, and mixed reality applications, with support for almost any mobile VR device and PC VR. The HRTF feature aims to mimic authentic audio perception, resulting in more realistic soundscapes, and enhances the sense of presence in a virtual environment.
The Presence Platform consists of development tools and programming interfaces that allow developers to incorporate hand and voice interaction, augmented reality capabilities, and, most recently, movement and eye-tracking SDKs. This collection of tools was first introduced in fall 2021 and is compatible with Quest 2 and Quest Pro.
The announcement comes in a moment of turmoil, while Facebook is letting off thousands of employees, but still investing heavily in its metaverse division.
Meta new XR Audio SDK
According to Meta, developers with no prior audio experience will be able to mix audio using the new “XR Audio SDK,” resulting in both flexibility and ease of use. At the Connect event in October 2022, Meta demonstrated the use of this SDK in the Horizon Workrooms virtual office and meeting application for Quest 2 and Quest Pro. For example, during meetings around conference tables, having the sound of voices coming from different directions is crucial to creating a convincing and believable environment.
The Unreal Engine, FMOD, and Wwise will continue to support the previous Oculus Spatializer, and Meta does not recommend upgrading in these areas yet. For new Unity Engine projects, Meta recommends using the new “XR Audio SDK” to incorporate spatial and localizable sound capabilities to better maintain applications in the long run or experiment with new features.