SkyView, which forms part of Stockholm’s Ericsson Globe arena, has claimed a world first through the implementation of Microsoft Soundscape and its 3D audio technology.

Microsoft Soundscape was originally designed to provide blind people and people with low vision a richer awareness of their surroundings. Guests using SkyView, an elevator that takes visitors to the top of the arena and provides views of Stockholm, will now be able to use the technology to immerse themselves in the city’s landmarks.

Microsoft Soundscape uses mapping technology to orient people in their environment. At the Ericsson Globe, for example, guests wishing to locate Stockholm’s Royal Palace will be guided by Soundscape’s audio cues and “auditorily transported” to the courtyard.

Ericsson Globe is part of ASM Global and is run by Stockholm Live, whose idea it was to implement the Microsoft Soundscape technology. It is hoped the initiative will evolve the overall SkyView experience and educate visitors, allowing them to forge a deeper relationship with local landmarks.

Steps were also taken to ensure the technology supports the human experience without obstructing the ride already in place.

Jarnail Chudge, innovation architect and co-founder of Microsoft Soundscape, said: “Part of being human is about understanding the world based on what we see, hear, and feel about interactions between people and environments. Soundscape provides the opportunity to experience environments with hearing in new ways, which strengthens the understanding and the relationship with our environment.

“Having Microsoft develop the service for SkyView is a next step in making more activities accessible through technology in Stockholm, while adding value to the city’s most iconic buildings and landmarks.”

Stockholm Live’s Anna Fernlund, who is responsible for the collaboration with Microsoft, added: “Being the first tourist attraction in the world that offers this new technology is very special to us and we’re so pleased we can create an even more unique experience for our visitors.”

Ericsson Globe hosts ice hockey events and music concerts and has a capacity of up to 16,000. It is the world’s largest spherical building and represents the Sun in the Sweden Solar System, a scale model of the planetary system with locations across the country.

Image: Holger.Ellgaard