Healing can come in various forms, with sound historically being rather underutilized in western medicine. New digital technologies are sparking a renaissance of new approaches to create tools and experiences that make us happier and healthier. In fact, Stanford University scientists and researchers have found that “rhythmic music may change brain function and treat a range of neurologic conditions, including attention deficit disorder and depression” (1). By observing brain patterns, leading clinicians can now tell us how our brain processes experiences when sound is introduced.
Throughout history and across many religions and cultures, sound has been a tool used to promote healing and health. Sound stimulation is steadily being introduced in different aspects of everyday life for meditative and mood enhancement purposes.
Wellstar Health Systems, HealthTunes and Spatial recently worked to develop and implement custom soundscapes for healthcare workers to “reduce the stress and anxiety brought on by the overwhelming COVID-19 health crisis” (2) by creating 360-degree Wellness Rooms to de-stress. These soundscapes are enhanced with Auditory Beat Simulation, a research-based approach which works to relax the parasympathetic nervous system and improve mood states (3) through the utilization of low-frequency pulses overlaid with a scene such as a forest or ocean.
“Thanks to Spatial’s technology, health systems are empowered to find innovative ways to promote the mental wellbeing of their teams while paving the way for the technology’s use in patient-facing settings.” – Dr. Hank Capps, Chief Information and Digital Officer, Wellstar Health System and Founder, Catalyst by Wellstar
Aside from the power to heal, sound can also entertain. Whether it be a thrilling theme park or inspiring journey through a museum, Spatial technology adds a new burst of magic and realism to those experiences, and transports visitors to another time and place.
Crafted Design’s President and Principal Designer Joseph White, at a 2019 InfoComm session discussing the trends in audio at theme parks, spoke of creating an “immersive experience”, where the listener is transported through sound (5).
The National Geographic Society partnership with Spatial for the “Once Upon a Climb, Stories From Everest” exhibition at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C. allowed for visitors to immerse themselves in stories of the climbers; with Spatial soundscapes offering a realistic depiction of Everest’s basecamp. The soundscapes made “visitors feel as if they [were] dodging a helicopter flying directly above them or standing next to a climber breathing heavily from the exertion of climbing at such high altitudes” (8) traveling on the snowy mountains of Everest.
Spatial co-founder and CEO Calin Pacurariu, in an interview with Tech HQ, describes scenarios in which the shopping experience could be completely transformed – where clothing stores could feature soundscapes that reflect what a customer might be shopping for, whether it be a basketball court, “quiet beach [or] a flashing red carpet” (4).
Retail locations of all kinds exist for one reason: to connect people to products and brands in a way that can only happen in person. With Spatial’s technology you can use sound to create customized retail experiences that transform your physical space into a unique experiential destination that customers have to hear to believe. Infusing the retail experience with curated immersive sound has the power to elevate a customer’s experience; helping evoke positive emotions connected to the space, product or service and increasing propensity to purchase.
A hotel can also use sound to entertain their guests. If a hotel property is located near the beach, having an ocean soundscape playing while guests are lounging about in the lobby could pique their interest and possibly even keep them within the hotel to shop or dine. Essentially, as Hospitality Tech reports in their article Immersive Sound Experiences: The Next Big Hotel Amenity?, hotels can “channel what they want their guests to feel in each space of the property” through the use of carefully curated soundscapes (6). The article discusses the use of Spatial’s audio simulation platform to create these soundscapes to make hotels more inviting for their guests.
The “human reaction time to sound is quicker than that of our other senses” (7). Sound can engage people within a space while being used to build an emotional connection and sensory experience. Once a company is able to tap into audio effects for the purpose of connecting with the human emotion, the experience becomes elevated. Interactions are amplified and more significant.
With Spatial audio experiences you can make wait times feel shorter, make interstitial areas more engaging, and make worlds that sweep people away. Spatial enables next-level immersive entertainment at a fraction of the cost and the complexity of traditional solutions.