Dolby Axon Releases Client API
So I don't know if anyone but me is following what Dolby is doing with their new
service, but it's something that I've been interested in so I thought I'd take a moment to mention it here.
For those of you who don't know, Dolby Axon is a VoIP service that Dolby has created, intended to fulfill the same needs as a Ventrilo or TeamSpeak server , but with a lot of extra functionality—for example, Axon can actually
your voice in 3D so you can actually hear teammates located in a particular spot in full surround.
Well Axon has just released an API for their desktop client, which has the potential to mean even
interesting developments. Basically the system is set up now so that game developers, and mod developers, can hook into the Axon desktop client and automatically update what's going on in your VoIP setup based on what's going on in the game.
This means that you can create a mod for a game that will report your location to the Axon client, which will then position your
on Axon so that other players hear you where you're actually standing—even changing the character of the sound based on whether you're behind a wall or in an open space. Likewise, someone who has a high-end gaming keyboard with it's own LCD display can write a mod which will display the person who's talking on the keyboard screen.
This kind of stuff is really interesting to me. We've made huge strides in the immersiveness of online gaming in almost every area—network protocols and broadband connections are better, so we get less lag. Graphics are better, so what we see feels more real. Gameplay becomes more immersive every day—and yet the chat messages we use to communicate are still based on a 22-year-old interface. It's really interesting to me to see companies like Dolby take real steps to bring sound and communication up to the same level we see in graphics and gameplay.
I foresee a future where MMOs integrate Dolby Axon directly into the game—where everyone has a microphone, and characters speak to one another out loud rather than via text. Where you can walk past a group of guildies and overhear their conversation in /say directly over your speakers. One day...
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