Beehive

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An eight-channel spatial sound system was developed for a Java3D environment known as the Wedge. The goal of the system was to add immersiveness to the VR experience, as well as allow 3D sound scenes to be created through direct manipulation. The system used a layered architecture, with development occurring in four incremental stages. The first layer consisted of a PortAudio interface built on top of ASIO to send data to the sound card. The second layer established an eight- channel VBAP implementation in C++. The final two layers created a Java3D interface into the Wedge by extending an existing Java3D sound class, and allowing it to interface with the VBAP code through the Java Native interface. The advantage brought about by the integration of the audio system within the Java3D environment was that both graphics and audio could now be rendered within the same scene graph. This approach seeked to eliminate concerns such as learning other languages and protocols, or attempting to maintain synchronization of separate audio and graphics systems. The integrated system was therefore much more robust, and allowed for greater programmability.

This project was completed by Thomas Jacobs for his honours year in Computer Science at the Australian National University. He presented it as the OzCHI conference in Brisbane that year.

Jacobs T. and Barrass S. (2003) Design and Implementation of a Java3D Spatial Sound System for the Wedge, in Proceedings of the Australian Conference on Computer Human Interaction, University of Queensland, November, 2003.