Spatial Audio head tracking on Apple TV automatically resets when you get up from the couc...

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in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited June 9
Apple shared a few tidbits about its upcoming Spatial Audio feature for tvOS 15 on Wednesday, revealing how dynamic head tracking will work on Apple TV.

Apple TV 4K


Though it didn't get the same superstar treatment during Apple's WWDC keynote on Monday, the tvOS platform is due to receive a number of improvements and new features when tvOS 15 debuts this fall.

Spatial Audio is one of the more compelling capabilities set to arrive on Apple TV later this year. On Wednesday, Apple explained how the feature's dynamic head tracking experience will work in a statement supplied to Engadget.

Similar to Spatial Audio head tracking on iOS, Apple TV will rely on accelerometer input from AirPods Pro and AirPods Max to determine head movement.

First, the system "locks in," or centers audio, when it detects that a user has been looking in the same direction for a predetermined amount of time, according to the report. Head tracking reactivates when a user stands and walks around, presumably resetting when they are seated and once again staring at the TV.

Engadget notes Spatial Audio is compatible with stereo, 5.1-channel, 7.1-channel and Dolby Atmos content. AirPods pairing is also improved, with a connection interface surfaced from settings into an onscreen pop-up.

Spatial Audio, with its immersive theater-like surround sound experience, is due to arrive on Apple TV this fall with tvOS 15.

Follow all of WWDC 2021 with comprehensive AppleInsider coverage of the week-long event from June 7 through June 11, including details on iOS 15, iPadOS 15, watchOS 8, macOS Monterey and more.

Stay on top of all Apple news right from your HomePod. Say, "Hey, Siri, play AppleInsider," and you'll get the latest AppleInsider Podcast. Or ask your HomePod mini for "AppleInsider Daily" instead and you'll hear a fast update direct from our news team. And, if you're interested in Apple-centric home automation, say "Hey, Siri, play HomeKit Insider," and you'll be listening to our newest specialized podcast in moments.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 17
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 2,018member
    Off topic but I wanted to say it somewhere. The new Siri remote’s volume and mute buttons totally SUCK when used with AirPods. Especially the mute, terrible implementation 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 2 of 17
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,286member
    What a mess. It calibrates according to the user looking in a direction for a certain amount of time?

    What if user is talking to someone? What if they’re looking down at their iPhone? What if they’re in the kitchen?.....

    If the user is sitting off to the side and not directly in front of the TV will the objects follow their assumed panning? (Admittedly this would be cool).
    For example you’re on the left side of the room. Batmobile speeds off to the left in the movie. It sounds like you’re gonna be ran over. 

    I’ve wanted a TrueDepth camera array for Apple TV for years pre-Spatial Audio and the lost benefits are compounding. The camera would have solved these problems.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 17
    xyzzy01xyzzy01 Posts: 85member
    Surround sound from AppleTV on my Airpod Max is something I was surprised didn't work when I bought them, so it's good to see it finally arrive.

    When it comes to head tracking, I wonder if it's possible to turn it off? It is a very impressive gimmick, but without VR it is just that - a gimmick - and I'd rather have it off, while retaining surround sound.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 17
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,823member
    This may work okay most of the time, but when it gets much out of synch with the TV’s true location, it will suck.
    Yes, Spatial Audio can be disabled and will automatically be disabled while moving around.
    edited June 10 williamlondonBeats
  • Reply 5 of 17
    gregoriusmgregoriusm Posts: 443member
    Off topic but I wanted to say it somewhere. The new Siri remote’s volume and mute buttons totally SUCK when used with AirPods. Especially the mute, terrible implementation 
    How so?
  • Reply 6 of 17
    hucom2000hucom2000 Posts: 101member
    Beats said:
    What a mess. It calibrates according to the user looking in a direction for a certain amount of time?

    What if user is talking to someone? What if they’re looking down at their iPhone? What if they’re in the kitchen?.....

    If the user is sitting off to the side and not directly in front of the TV will the objects follow their assumed panning? (Admittedly this would be cool).
    For example you’re on the left side of the room. Batmobile speeds off to the left in the movie. It sounds like you’re gonna be ran over. 

    I’ve wanted a TrueDepth camera array for Apple TV for years pre-Spatial Audio and the lost benefits are compounding. The camera would have solved these problems.
    Not everyone has their Apple TV sitting smack center below the TV. I for one have it hooked up to the projector above me. This approach from Apple allows for a totally flexible placement of the Apple TV.
    edited June 10 gregoriusmwilliamlondonaderutterStrangeDays
  • Reply 7 of 17
    aderutteraderutter Posts: 454member
    Yes it’s a mixed bag doing it this way, but on balance it is the better option of the two.

    The optimal solution would have been enabling a user to specify where the display device is and in what orientation to the ATV. 

    I use an ATV that is stationary and I use it on a TV that is about 5 feet away diagonally. I also use ithe same ATV with my projector that is at a 90 degree angle (different wall) 16feet away. 


    gregoriusmBeats
  • Reply 8 of 17
    Beats said:
    What a mess. It calibrates according to the user looking in a direction for a certain amount of time?

    What if user is talking to someone? What if they’re looking down at their iPhone? What if they’re in the kitchen?.....

    If the user is sitting off to the side and not directly in front of the TV will the objects follow their assumed panning? (Admittedly this would be cool).
    For example you’re on the left side of the room. Batmobile speeds off to the left in the movie. It sounds like you’re gonna be ran over. 

    I’ve wanted a TrueDepth camera array for Apple TV for years pre-Spatial Audio and the lost benefits are compounding. The camera would have solved these problems.
    I think it will work fine.
    StrangeDayswilliamlondon
  • Reply 9 of 17
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,274member
    Beats said:
    What a mess. It calibrates according to the user looking in a direction for a certain amount of time?

    What if user is talking to someone? What if they’re looking down at their iPhone? What if they’re in the kitchen?.....

    If the user is sitting off to the side and not directly in front of the TV will the objects follow their assumed panning? (Admittedly this would be cool).
    For example you’re on the left side of the room. Batmobile speeds off to the left in the movie. It sounds like you’re gonna be ran over. 

    I’ve wanted a TrueDepth camera array for Apple TV for years pre-Spatial Audio and the lost benefits are compounding. The camera would have solved these problems.
    Get a grip — it’s not a mess, you haven’t even tried it yet alone be positioned to declare it a mess. That you don’t think tvOS engineers ask these same questions is baffling. Just because they didn’t use whatever system you dreamed up in your head doesn’t mean they’re doing it wrong.

    (Sogg, is that you!?)
    edited June 10 williamlondonjahbladeBeats
  • Reply 10 of 17
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,274member
    i haven’t been able to watch the keynote yet, but spatial audio on tvOS! Great news, and what people were clamoring for. Looking forward to it. 
    jahblade
  • Reply 11 of 17
    Beats said:
    What a mess. It calibrates according to the user looking in a direction for a certain amount of time?

    What if user is talking to someone? What if they’re looking down at their iPhone? What if they’re in the kitchen?.....

    If the user is sitting off to the side and not directly in front of the TV will the objects follow their assumed panning? (Admittedly this would be cool).
    For example you’re on the left side of the room. Batmobile speeds off to the left in the movie. It sounds like you’re gonna be ran over. 

    I’ve wanted a TrueDepth camera array for Apple TV for years pre-Spatial Audio and the lost benefits are compounding. The camera would have solved these problems.
    Get a grip — it’s not a mess, you haven’t even tried it yet alone be positioned to declare it a mess. That you don’t think tvOS engineers ask these same questions is baffling. Just because they didn’t use whatever system you dreamed up in your head doesn’t mean they’re doing it wrong.

    (Sogg, is that you!?)
    Lol. No, there is absolutely NO similarities between @Beats and @Sog35. Sog's mood used to swing depending on Apple's share price (positive when it is up, negative when it is down). @Beats is in many ways very similar to you - Ultra aggressive towards people who are even mildly critical of Apple. Only on very rare occurrences, yourself and Beats are critical of Apple.
  • Reply 12 of 17
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,428member
    Beats said:
    What a mess. It calibrates according to the user looking in a direction for a certain amount of time?

    What if user is talking to someone? What if they’re looking down at their iPhone? What if they’re in the kitchen?.....

    If the user is sitting off to the side and not directly in front of the TV will the objects follow their assumed panning? (Admittedly this would be cool).
    For example you’re on the left side of the room. Batmobile speeds off to the left in the movie. It sounds like you’re gonna be ran over. 

    I’ve wanted a TrueDepth camera array for Apple TV for years pre-Spatial Audio and the lost benefits are compounding. The camera would have solved these problems.

    Seriously, man. This is a solution for the rare individual that sits in front of the TV and actually looks at the screen while watching a movie or TV show. Who then may at some point briefly get up or momentarily look away. This isn't meant for Cirque du Soleil performers who just want background noise.

    You sound like one of those people who are constantly asking questions, talking over dialog because you're not paying attention to the movie. The only mess here, is your wild, defeatist imagination. 
    edited June 10 jahbladeBeats
  • Reply 13 of 17
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,286member
    hucom2000 said:
    Beats said:
    What a mess. It calibrates according to the user looking in a direction for a certain amount of time?

    What if user is talking to someone? What if they’re looking down at their iPhone? What if they’re in the kitchen?.....

    If the user is sitting off to the side and not directly in front of the TV will the objects follow their assumed panning? (Admittedly this would be cool).
    For example you’re on the left side of the room. Batmobile speeds off to the left in the movie. It sounds like you’re gonna be ran over. 

    I’ve wanted a TrueDepth camera array for Apple TV for years pre-Spatial Audio and the lost benefits are compounding. The camera would have solved these problems.
    Not everyone has their Apple TV sitting smack center below the TV. I for one have it hooked up to the projector above me. This approach from Apple allows for a totally flexible placement of the Apple TV.

    I know this.

    Where you referring to my camera array wish? It would sit on top of the TV in the center. I thought that was obvious. It would also be non obtrusive since it’s nearly invisible unlike the Wii sensor bar and the Kinect. 

    It would fix a multitude of problems while providing a sh**ton of extra features like AR, social media(like Animoji Karaoke), Games, extra Fitness+ features, FaceID, head-tracking and user location, health and the list goes on.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 14 of 17
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,286member
    aderutter said:
    Yes it’s a mixed bag doing it this way, but on balance it is the better option of the two.

    The optimal solution would have been enabling a user to specify where the display device is and in what orientation to the ATV. 

    I use an ATV that is stationary and I use it on a TV that is about 5 feet away diagonally. I also use ithe same ATV with my projector that is at a 90 degree angle (different wall) 16feet away. 



    This is also a mess. You want the technology to disappear. If I tell my Apple TV I’m sitting 6 feet to the right at a 110 degree angle what happens when I move to the center? What happens if I move the TV/couch and forget to change the settings? Or do I have to update the settings every time I sit down?

    With a centered camera array it would never be wrong and you’ll never have to tell it anything. It just works.
    edited June 10 williamlondon
  • Reply 15 of 17
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 2,018member
    Off topic but I wanted to say it somewhere. The new Siri remote’s volume and mute buttons totally SUCK when used with AirPods. Especially the mute, terrible implementation 
    How so?
    Argh I meant HomePods not AirPods.
    Anyways assuming these issues are there only when HomePods are paired with an AppleTV:
    • When the sound is muted and you hit mute again to unmute it, it does really weird things like the volume bar goes up but the audio is still muted, then you hit mute again and it brings the volume bar down to zero and the sound is still muted, then you hit it one more time and finally the volume is back.
    • When you change the volume, the volume bar moves but the volume doesn't follow, then the volume bar disappears and reappears with the correct volume setting.
    • When muted, the volume bar keeps popping up uninvoked with different volume settings even though the volume is still muted.
    • And when it does work, which is rare, changing the volume or hitting the Mute button has a noticeable delay.

    williamlondon
  • Reply 16 of 17
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 11,274member
    Beats said:
    What a mess. It calibrates according to the user looking in a direction for a certain amount of time?

    What if user is talking to someone? What if they’re looking down at their iPhone? What if they’re in the kitchen?.....

    If the user is sitting off to the side and not directly in front of the TV will the objects follow their assumed panning? (Admittedly this would be cool).
    For example you’re on the left side of the room. Batmobile speeds off to the left in the movie. It sounds like you’re gonna be ran over. 

    I’ve wanted a TrueDepth camera array for Apple TV for years pre-Spatial Audio and the lost benefits are compounding. The camera would have solved these problems.
    Get a grip — it’s not a mess, you haven’t even tried it yet alone be positioned to declare it a mess. That you don’t think tvOS engineers ask these same questions is baffling. Just because they didn’t use whatever system you dreamed up in your head doesn’t mean they’re doing it wrong.

    (Sogg, is that you!?)
    Lol. No, there is absolutely NO similarities between @Beats and @Sog35. Sog's mood used to swing depending on Apple's share price (positive when it is up, negative when it is down). @Beats is in many ways very similar to you - Ultra aggressive towards people who are even mildly critical of Apple. Only on very rare occurrences, yourself and Beats are critical of Apple.
    Nonsense. You’re misreading my willingness to argue why some ideas are poorly reasoned, with aggression to critics. I certainly have my criticism of the tools I use, as no tool is perfect. But I also don’t feel the need to humor a continually butthurt segment who don’t seem to understand the use cases and enterprise values for the company whose products we discuss here. 
    edited June 10
  • Reply 17 of 17
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,286member
    mjtomlin said:
    Beats said:
    What a mess. It calibrates according to the user looking in a direction for a certain amount of time?

    What if user is talking to someone? What if they’re looking down at their iPhone? What if they’re in the kitchen?.....

    If the user is sitting off to the side and not directly in front of the TV will the objects follow their assumed panning? (Admittedly this would be cool).
    For example you’re on the left side of the room. Batmobile speeds off to the left in the movie. It sounds like you’re gonna be ran over. 

    I’ve wanted a TrueDepth camera array for Apple TV for years pre-Spatial Audio and the lost benefits are compounding. The camera would have solved these problems.

    Seriously, man. This is a solution for the rare individual that sits in front of the TV and actually looks at the screen while watching a movie or TV show. Who then may at some point briefly get up or momentarily look away. This isn't meant for Cirque du Soleil performers who just want background noise.

    You sound like one of those people who are constantly asking questions, talking over dialog because you're not paying attention to the movie. The only mess here, is your wild, defeatist imagination. 

    And THAT is exactly the problem. The “solution” is only for the rare.

    My solution would be for 100% of people and can support multiple users.

    It could even add spatial audio to speakers. Imagine that!

    How can you guys not see this???


    Beats said:
    What a mess. It calibrates according to the user looking in a direction for a certain amount of time?

    What if user is talking to someone? What if they’re looking down at their iPhone? What if they’re in the kitchen?.....

    If the user is sitting off to the side and not directly in front of the TV will the objects follow their assumed panning? (Admittedly this would be cool).
    For example you’re on the left side of the room. Batmobile speeds off to the left in the movie. It sounds like you’re gonna be ran over. 

    I’ve wanted a TrueDepth camera array for Apple TV for years pre-Spatial Audio and the lost benefits are compounding. The camera would have solved these problems.
    Get a grip — it’s not a mess, you haven’t even tried it yet alone be positioned to declare it a mess. That you don’t think tvOS engineers ask these same questions is baffling. Just because they didn’t use whatever system you dreamed up in your head doesn’t mean they’re doing it wrong.

    (Sogg, is that you!?)
    Lol. No, there is absolutely NO similarities between @Beats and @Sog35. Sog's mood used to swing depending on Apple's share price (positive when it is up, negative when it is down). @Beats is in many ways very similar to you - Ultra aggressive towards people who are even mildly critical of Apple. Only on very rare occurrences, yourself and Beats are critical of Apple.

    People have a bias against Apple so I try to balance things out like DED.

    I criticize Apple when they miss the obvious (Beats Radio, Apple Music Radio, Gaming, Podcasts and the giant turd that’s Apple TV).
    williamlondon
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