The University System of Maryland (USM) Momentum Fund has invested $500,000 in College Park-based VisiSonics Corp., an early stage company that develops spatial audio technology and personalization software for audio playback, as well as hardware and software for audio capture and analytics.
This investment completes a financing round of $3.5 million for VisiSonics led by an audio company with ties to the music, cinema and gaming markets, according to Ramani Duraiswami, founder and CEO of the company.
VisiSonics develops two main products. The first is Realspace 3D Audio (RS3D), which is spatial audio software featuring the company’s physics-based 3D audio algorithms. Ideal for gaming and headphones, from desktops to mobile, Realspace 3D Audio adds another dimension to sound, giving it a 360-degree radius and making it sound like it comes from different locations in space.
The software can model rooms, render objects, run on both dedicated hardware or in software, and be personalized to users’ head and ear shapes with different hearing profiles. RS3D is available for development in Unity, Unreal and Wwise, and also as low level software on PCs, mobile devices and DSP platforms.
VisiSonics’ second product line features audio cameras that can analyze environments for noise, capture audio in a 360-degree space, or focus on a specific area of interest. Each audio camera consists of an array of as many as 64 microphones. The company’s cameras are especially useful for analyzing industrial noise in a space, such as an automobile.
VisiSonics’ technology was initially developed at the University of Maryland through $6 million in funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The company has exclusive licenses to six university patents related to its technologies.