In the Labs at Dolby

By Chris Chinnock

One cool part of the analyst day visit at Dolby was a tour of a couple of forward-looking labs. In one, we saw how Dolby is measuring biometric data like EKG, eye movements, skin sensations and more – all in response to watching video content. Part of this is aimed at understanding how viewers might react differently to HDR and WCG content compared to standard content.

Dolby psyc lab

The idea is to understand what is driving emotional and physical engagement with content. One example was cited where a bright flame was shown and there was the sensation of heat on the viewer’s face, but there was not infrared emission change from the screen. In other words the image was so compelling it induced a physical reaction in the viewer that mimicked a real event.

The second lab we saw was still under construction. This is going to be a non-goggles VR lab, essentially. The part that was not yet complete was the visual presentation. This is slated to be a 180-degree cylindrical projection screen using four projectors (probably from Panasonic) to create a blended high resolution image.

The audio component is complete and has incredible capabilities. There are 34 speakers hidden around the room and probably about as many microphones. These are used to create any sonic environment imaginable. With the click of a button, the room can be transformed to sound like anywhere from a cathedral to a noisy street, to an office, to an acoustically dead room. This was extremely impressive.

Dolby says it can import CAD models of a space and create acoustic models to match. This should be operational by February. I sure hope Dolby invites me back again to see this room in action. – CC