Military Embedded Systems

Tactical spatial audio solution for dismounted warfighters introduced by OTTO Engineering


May 06, 2023

Dan Taylor

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Image courtesy OTTO Engineering.

SOF WEEK 2023 -- TAMPA, Fla. TAMPA, Florida. Communications company OTTO Engineering has launched the first tactical spatial audio product for dismounted warfighters, which it calls E.S.P. [Enhanced Spatial Positioning], according to a company statement. 

The push-to-talk (PTT) switch is designed for dynamic environments and individual operators, with the aim of boosting an operator's mental focus and situational awareness by providing directional audio sources in high-stress combat situations.

Traditional audio traffic from multiple sources can lead to auditory overload and retention loss, the company says, but E.S.P. is designed to solve these issues via spatial positioning: The product funnels audio streams into four distinct channels heard around the user's head, associating a physical position with each unique audio source, which increases comprehension and enables warfighters to focus on mission objectives, the company says.

The company notes that the Audio Engineering Society (AES) has published testing results showing that spatial separation of audio can reduce cognitive load and help operators maintain situational awareness.

The solution is compatible with major radio platforms and offers modular compatibility with vehicular and airbase intercoms (ICS); the E.S.P. product also meets MIL-STD-810G specifications for ruggedness, is software/firmware upgradeable, and allows for future channel position options. 

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