New auralization tool "VIPRA" makes the sound of virtual products a realistic experience

Press Release / June 23, 2020

At the Virtual XR Expo on June 25 and 26, 2020, the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT presents "VIPRA", a tool that for the first time makes the sound of virtual products audible in a realistic spatial environment. The benefit: with VIPRA, the acoustics of new products and components can be experienced authentically during the virtual engineering phase. Already in the early phases of virtual prototyping, the acoustic properties and their effect can be assessed continuously and changes in material and design are possible. The Virtual XR Expo is a trade fair for virtual, augmented and mixed reality, which will be digital this year due to coronavirus.

VIPRA makes it possible, for example, to virtually experience the acoustics of a vehicle's interior in real time.
© Copyright Fraunhofer IDMT
VIPRA makes it possible, for example, to virtually experience the acoustics of a vehicle's interior in real time.
Acoustics experts from Fraunhofer IDMT: Christoph Sladeczek and Bernhard Fielder
© Fraunhofer IDMT
Acoustics experts Christoph Sladeczek (left) and Bernhard Fiedler (right) present the new auralization tool "VIPRA" in two sessions.

Can you imagine how the newly designed engine sounds after being installed in a car? Is the sound of the new car door rich enough to give potential car buyers a feeling of safety and quality? Car manufacturers, for example, have long recognized the importance of the right sound for purchasing decisions. Hence, they are investing in professional sound design and expensive prototype construction. Until now, the answer to the question of the right sound could only be provided once the "real" sound was available.

In two virtual expert sessions, Fraunhofer experts Bernhard Fiedler and Christoph Sladeczek demonstrate how the new tool can be used to check acoustic parameters over and over again throughout the virtual product design process. VIPRA provides an exact, acoustically three-dimensional image of the virtual prototype. Volume, tonality or the intensity of the sound radiation in different directions in space can be heard reliably and in real time from any perspective.

Until now, virtual prototyping has only been possible to "visualize" the acoustic properties of components with the help of simulation tools. In this process, the sound radiation of products is represented in so-called false-color images. However, these representations cannot be used to experience the realistic sound of products. "With VIPRA, we are for the first time in a position to make numerical simulation data an acoustic experience - long before a first prototype is created," explains Bernhard Fiedler, the responsible researcher at Fraunhofer IDMT. "Our tool is thus the perfect complement for virtual product development, because now a product can be experienced not only visually in a virtual way, but also acoustically".

Are you interested to get to know VIPRA and to exchange ideas with our experts? Then register for the Virtual XR Expo and become a guest of the expert sessions with our acoustic experts Bernhard Fiedler and Christoph Sladeczek!