Back when we were kids, there was this video called the "Virtual Barber Shop" that blew our minds.

The video made you feel like Luigi was right behind you, cutting your hair. Fast forward ten years, we somehow came across the video again and wanted to experiment with 3D audio ourselves. However, we couldn't find a way to turn sound files into 3D audio. And as broke college students, we weren't about to drop a thousand dollars for a 3D mic.

What it does

In comes Sound Escape. Sound Escape is a tool that allows you to turn regular sound files into a 3D audio environment. Simply drag your sound files into the environment and position them around the listener. The sounds will seem to surround you as if they are coming from the place you positioned them.

How we built it

To build the app, we used React and Howler.js. Howler.js provided nice spatial audio capabilities, while React provided powerful state management and the ability to create effective UI. Using these two technologies, we aimed to create an experience that is both simple and intuitive.

Challenges we ran into

As novice React developers, we're still learning how to effectively manage state. It was hard to wrap our heads around the flow of data throughout the application and when and where to use Redux over component state. Also, this was our first time working with audio.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Before the hackathon began, we thought the project would be too complicated for us to do. However, by being adaptable and persistent, we think we created an app that's both useful and fun to play around with.

What we learned

We learned that knowledge of the technologies doesn't precede the pursuit of the idea. If you really want to fulfill an idea, the technology will be there to help you achieve it.

What's next for Sound Escape

We want to allow users to incorporate motion into their 3D soundscapes, so users can experience soundscapes that seem like they live and breathe.

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