A Head-Mounted Microphone Array

We recently presented our first version of a head-mounted microphone array in this paper:

J. Ahrens, H. Helmholz, D. L. Alon, S. V. Amengual Garí, “Spherical Harmonic Decomposition of a Sound Field Based on Microphones Around the Circumference of a Human Head,” in Proc. of IEEE WASPAA, New Platz, NY, USA, Oct. 2021 [ pdf ]

It produces an ambisonic representation of the captured sound field, which may be particularly interesting when binaural rendering is targeted because it allows for headtracking about all three rotation axes. One option would be to integrate it into an augmented reality headset. Imagine combining this with a panoramic video recorded from outward-facing cameras on that same device!

A human head is, of course, not the only conceivable object to mount the microphone array on. The method can deal with everything that is kind-of round. Panoramic camera arrays of any form factor may be just as interesting of an application.

Here is a demonstration of our prototype:

Thanks to Reality Labs for funding this work!

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