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The First Tactical Spatial Audio Solution for the Dismounted Warfighter

Post Date: 5/2/2023

OTTO E.S.P.™ (Enhanced Spatial Positioning) push-to-talk switch provides game-changing multi-talker communication capabilities for high-stress combat environments.

OTTO Engineering announced the launch of the first tactical spatial audio product for dismounted warfighters. E.S.P.™ (Enhanced Spatial Positioning) is a push-to-talk (PTT) switch designed for dynamic environments and the needs of individual operators. The solution was developed to enable users to mentally focus on an individual positional audio source, even if other channels are active simultaneously.

In high-stress environments, traditional audio traffic from multiple sources can compete in the tactical operator’s ear, leading to auditory overload and retention loss. Spatial Positioning creates separation and provides mental clarity.

Independent testing published by the Audio Engineering Society (AES) on the occurrence of attention redirection and speech intelligibility in multi-talker communication confirms that spatial separation of audio can reduce cognitive load and help operators maintain situational awareness.

“In a natural listening environment, the human auditory system uses cues to localize and externalize sound sources. When listening, we can discern the sound source, where it’s coming from, and when multiple sources are presented concurrently. We’re able to attend to a specific source through what is called the ‘cocktail party effect,’” says Dan Stanek, Vice President and General Manager of OTTO’s Communications division. Stanek continues, “This is the ability of the brain to focus on a specific source in the presence of other competing sources, such as when a person is in a noisy room at a cocktail party. Audio segregation like this occurs because of several factors, but the strongest is the distinct spatial location of the independent audio sources.”

Designed to address those dynamics, E.S.P. applies spatial positioning as a tactical edge by funneling audio streams into four distinct channels heard around your head. The operator hears each channel distinctly from Left, Left-Front, Right-Front, and Right associating a physical position with each unique audio source. This untangles competing audio streams and increases comprehension so warfighters can maintain situational awareness and focus on mission objectives.

This first-of-its-kind solution is compatible with major radio platforms and offers modular compatibility with vehicular and airbase intercoms (ICS). E.S.P. meets MIL-STD-810G specifications and is software/firmware upgradeable allowing for future channel position options, ATAK PTT functionality, and more.

The E.S.P (Enhanced Spatial Positioning) PTT is available now from OTTO CommunicationsContact OTTO today for more information or a demonstration.

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