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Apple Patent on Virtual Speakers

Macsimumnews.com summarizes an Apple filing with the European Patent Office, under the name "Audio system, loudspeaker and method of operation thereof".

The patent, accompanied by drawings, describes a speaker system used in combination with a "computing device" that controls loudspeakers to provide the effect of having five speakers when there are in fact only two. The other three are "virtual speakers". The "computing device" could be a computer located in the interior of a speaker.

"Measurement devices", with a wireless microphone given as an example, provide feedback information to the computing device in the form of sound samples so it can make further adjustments to hit the "sound sweet spot".

The listener can use a handheld device and a screen display to monitor and control the system.

Although this is a patent for an "invention" and not an actual product, it is in keeping with Apple's push into home entertainment products such as Front Row, the Apple Remote, and the iPod Hi-Fi.