The audio industry, which is in a re-evaluation stage, is witnessing significant technological advancements across the industry. Developments in the music industry, which saw introduction of upgraded audio technology (also known as three dimensional (3D) audio), has changed the way services are being delivered. With focus on enhancing consumer experience, this sound mix technology delivers music (sound) to a listener in three dimensions. The market for 3D audio is forecast to quickly grow to US$ 14,498.0 Mn by 2026 from US$ 3,194.5 Mn in 2016, recording a CAGR of 16.6%.
The 3D audio market has seen demand traction due to rising implementation across end-use applications, with commercial implementations holding the largest share. Industries, such as gaming, cinemas, music, and automobiles, are the leading verticals adopting the technology so as to enhance the natural sound experience and real-life visualization experience of customers.
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3D audio has gained traction only recently, although 3D vision has long been in demand and visual technologies already enjoy strong acceptance among industries and consumers. A close study of recent product launches and developments of key industry participants active in the 3D audio market reveals that industries such as gaming, music, VR, and cinemas would continue to dominate the market throughout the forecast period. Non-commercial applications too such as personal mobile devices and home theater are forecast to see demand surge, gaining significant uptake toward the second half of the forecast period of the 3D audio market study. Typical personal entertainment devices include products such as Ambeo headsets, Hooke verse headphones, 3D audio enabled headphones, head trackers and others. This rise is attributable to further improvement in consumer acceptance and expected dip in product prices. Improvement in consumer spending on personal entertainment is seen as crucial to influencing market growth trends for both commercial and non-commercial applications. The 3D audio market however still faces challenges such as absence of any standard and universal format or configuration, which has negatively affected further large scale proliferation of technology.
These existing technology integration and distribution related challenges offer possible opportunities, such as need for service providers or intermediaries addressing compatibility issues. Any further development and exploration of 3D audio technology as human computer interface technology is expected to open new sets of unexplored opportunities, right from automation/IoT to driver assistance systems, remote device management, and so on, thereby supporting 3D audio market growth.
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Attracted by this fast expanding market and underlying latent demand, many players are driven to invest in the market for 3D audio technology products and services. Right from platform/software developers to device manufacturers and professional services providers, there is a rush of companies across industries to strengthen their foothold in the 3D audio market. For instance, till 2017, Auro Technologies had installed 600 AURO 11.1 3D audio systems for cinemas across the world. Dolby Atmos had installed approximately 2000 3D audio systems across the world. However, since established players such as Dolby, DTS, and others already have a strong network in the market and technology expertise, new entrants may find it challenging to establish a foothold without a unique value proposition. Some of the prominent players as identified in the 3D audio market and profiled in the study include – OSSIC, 3D Sound Labs, Auro Technologies Inc, Comhear Inc., Core Sound LLC., dearVR, Dolby Labs, DTS, Inc (Xperi Corporation), Dysonics, Hooke Audio, ISONO Sound, Sennheiser electronic GmbH & Co., VisiSonics Corporation (Realspace 3D), and Waves Audio Ltd.
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