A friend of mine turned me onto a video on YouTube that insisted that you listen while wearing headphones and insisted that you keep your eyes shut throughout the presentation. I couldn't believe it; I was treated to surround sound using a pair of stereo headsets!
The sound was incredible. You could sense the space of the room you were in. You were fully immersed in the ambiance. The performers could position themselves anywhere that they wished to and you knew exactly their position relative to where you were sitting. The same went for any props that they used that produced sound.
I had to find out what this technology was. It's from QSound Labs. Accoding to the company site: ""In the early 1990’s, QSound Labs brought effective, practical three-dimensional (3D) audio technology to music and film production studios in the form of a ¼-tonne digital audio processing station called the QSystem. Meanwhile, video gamers enjoyed ground-breaking QSound 3D audio on Capcom arcade machines.
"Today, QSound technology is embedded in tiny devices such as cell phones and Bluetooth headsets, whereas the QSound digital audio algorithm suite has grown considerably."
This was fantastic! They have a YouTube channel that has many demos to enjoy. Search "Virtual Barber Shop" and you'll be taken to the right place. Or head over to their site and listen to their demoes.
Even though they mentioned that the technology is embedded in many devices, I couldn't believe that this wasn't something I would have stumbled upon in the past two decades. And I couldn't but think one thing over and over — why isn't this technology more prevalent in headsets and HDTVs? Link the two up via Bluetooth and you'd never shut the set off (maybe that's not a good thing?). Movies and sporting events would become addictive. A mesmerizing experience at the very least.
Either way, you should really experience this. There's no consumer products here, per say. This site is aimed at content creators and developers. But the demoes are available to everyone. I was just so impressed with the experience that I wanted to share it.