Kinects Could Get 3D Audio

That swanky surround-sound system might have eight point one channels, but you've got to be sitting at their precise focal point to get the full effect. This newly-filed Microsoft patent application will track listeners throughout the room and provide 3D audio regardless of their position.

The 3D sound system relies on a "depth camera system" (read: a Kinect) to track the user's position within the room and adjusts which speaker produces which sound. This means that the proverbial "sweet spot" of surround-sound systems—the focal point—will move with you as you fidget and shift while playing. Kinect games specifically will greatly benefit from this and should be able to provide a more immersive and accurate playing environment. [USPTO via Wired]