Zuckerberg announced that they are building a second anechoic silent chamber at Facebook

And they are aiming to make it the most silent place on Earth. The place will be used for the extensive research Facebook is doing into Oculus and other stuff concerning mixed and augmented reality, eye tracking and body mapping.

Chambers like these were used a lot already for music technology and experimentation (very famous is the case of John Cage, that in 1951 composed the silent piece 4’33”) but also to test medical instruments, vehicles, home appliances and telecommunication equipment.

 

At Facebook, they are investing in this sector to bring virtual reality in anyone’s life and allow us to interact with the digital world the same way as the real one.

And the cool news about sound developments don’t stop here.

Facebook is also looking at other potential sound features

At the moment, videos in the news-feed play automatically with muted audio. But things could change; muted contents, in fact, worry advertisers, especially comparing other platforms like Snapchat, where videos mostly have sound on.

So Facebook might consider sound on by default as well. Zuckerberg confirmed at TechCrunch that this won’t happen when devices will be playing audio from other apps and that everyone will be able to change these settings, as they might cause embarrassing situations (at work, in classrooms …).

The platform therefore opens new possibilities for audio workers

This approach is very contextualised in the digitalisation process we are experiencing in society.

Ultimately, a bigger presence of sound would mean more creative ideas for audio workers.

As everything, these developments could arise protests, but that’s the way it goes anyway when news come out. Brand new devices, like Airpods, will help to manage these features.

And probably one day people will wonder how did they used to do with mute Facebook.

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Fabio Di Santo

Fabio is a creative and enthusiastic Audio Designer specialised in production for visual media.
Sound is his strongest passion and he is fascinated by its potential as a communication tool.
His creative approach combines technical skills and innovative experimentation, backed up by research and critical analysis, to contextualise creative solutions.
He is currently working with a wide range of collaborators, from creative agencies to audiovisual studios, independent artists, radios and so on.