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Audio Radar peripheral allows deaf and hard of hearing players to see sounds

Lights up.

A new accessibility peripheral has been designed to allow players to see sounds through LED lights.

Audio Radar has been created by Airdrop Gaming and converts 7.1 surround sound into directional cues.

While it’s been designed with deaf and hard of hearing players in mind, it could prove a useful tool for others too.

The peripheral works with six LED strips placed around your monitor or TV that flash to indicate the direction of sound cues, from distant footsteps to nearby gunshots.

What’s more, it comes with a panel that allows users to make various adjustments like colours, brightness, effects and specific LED zones.

While similar tools have been developed as on-screen indicators, like the Sonic Radar from Asus, the Audio Radar is the first time it’s been seen in a physical product. Testing has been underway for the past 18 months.

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There are limitations however. The peripheral works best with games that support 7.1 surround sound to identify individual sounds. Games with 5.1 surround sound or too much ambient noise will trigger the lights inaccurately.

The tool will also pick up on teammates’ sounds which cannot be muted, making it less useful for team matches as opposed to solo rounds.

Audio Radar is launching on the crowdfunding platform IndieGoGo on 15th October and will be supported for PC, PlayStation and Xbox consoles. Though no price is shown, Airdrop Gaming founder Tim Murphy told Rock Paper Shotgun they’re “targeting” $379 at retail ($299 for IndieGoGo pre-orders).

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