Brillhart started out at Google's creative filmmaking arm, crafting documentaries on topics like Instant Search, quantum computing and AI. But eventually, she was tapped to help the company's early 360-degree video experiments, which led to other projects like her DeepDream VR experiment. And even though we're several years into the rise of consumer VR, she thinks we still have a long way to go.
"So you have this radical tension between the systems that are there in technology, film and other mediums -- particularly those two when it comes to my world," she said. "They're trying to sort of keep everything in this box. [I think] you can do that all you want, but that ain't gonna work. I have to change it."
Brillhart continued, "Audio folks have been creating amazing pieces for the longest time, and they've been brought to us in little, itty-bitty files. There's this whole backlog ... In '69 they were doing multi-track. Which means with a platform for spatial content, you could just drop in the guitar, Elvis and the backup singers."
Listening to high-resolution music on audiophile-grade speakers can already deliver a solid sense of presence, but it's only in one direction, with the band directly facing you. Traverse's pitch is all about immersing you in whichever direction you choose. And of course, it can also be used for more than just music. Another Traverse demo at SXSW lets you hear and see the Martian landscape on your phone as you walk around, relying on publicly available audio and imagery.
At this point, only owners of Bose's QC35 Headphones II or Frames audio shades can use Traverse, since it relies on the company's custom AR platform. But if you're lucky enough to own either of those gadgets, you can try out a special edition of the app starting today.