Virtual Sonics Inc., a TechCayman-sponsored start-up is ramping up efforts to promote its 3D spatial audio technology as it looks to further develop the software from its Cayman base.

The 360 Reality Audio Creative Suite was developed in partnership with Sony Home Entertainment and Sound Products.

The new tech allows musicians and creators to place individual sounds such as vocals, chorus, piano, guitar, bass or a live audience anywhere in a 360-degree ‘spherical sound field’ that immerses listeners exactly as intended by the artists.

Under the brand of its subsidiary, Audio Futures Inc – also a TechCayman-sponsored enterprise – the company has developed 360 spatial audio for Sony’s 360 Reality Audio technology.

Earlier this year, Virtual Sonics released the 360 Reality Audio Creative Suite, which uses Sony’s technology and music format in a software package so that it can be employed both in a studio environment or on-the-go using only a laptop.

The company says this new form of sound experience can also be enjoyed through compatible music-streaming services or smartphone apps with regular headphones.

Phil Quartararo, president of Virtual Sonics, says the 360 spatial audio is an important milestone and one of the few music innovations able to dramatically move the industry forward.

Phil Quartararo

“We are honoured that a pioneer and household name in sound technology like Sony partnered with us to produce the 360 Reality Audio Creative Suite to enable a true next level in music experience,” he said.

Quartararo is a music industry veteran and a former CEO of Virgin Records, Warner Bros Music and EMI Records, who is credited with bringing to market some of the biggest names in music from U2, the Spice Girls and Coldplay to Green Day and Linkin Park.

With Virtual Sonics, he says, he is excited to be further developing the technology with his team and Sony out of the Cayman Islands. “It’s a perfect location for tech companies with global aspirations and a place that naturally stimulates the creativity necessary to do great things.”

Audio Futures, the Cayman-based exclusive developer of creator tools for 360 Reality Audio, has a five-person leadership team setting up basic operations locally. This will pave the way for the systematic growth of the company’s research and development on island, which will include software and sound engineers, and technicians.

For TechCayman, Virtual Sonics is the sign of things to come in establishing Cayman as a tech hub. The venture, announced in 2018, takes advantage of the islands’ attributes as a great location to live and work that fosters creativity, as well as a tax-friendly environment.

It aims to attract tech companies to Cayman, where they can create intellectual property and digital assets in a tax-neutral location. This is particularly beneficial for products and services that, like Virtual Sonics sound technology, are rolled out on a global scale.

This is underpinned by modern local intellectual property legislation that provides adequate protection for copyrights, patents, trademarks and design rights.

Samir Mitra, director of TechCayman said, “I couldn’t be more delighted to see the emerging realisation of our vision for TechCayman as a vector for establishing the Cayman Islands on the world map for developing cutting-edge technology companies together with world renowned brand-name technology companies like Sony.”

He added, “It is genuinely stunning to be part of the latest technologies changing how music will be experienced daily by millions of people worldwide and working with the stewards of Hollywood music industry, all from our small yet influential Cayman Islands.”

Virtual Sonics is the fourth TechCayman-sponsored company. It follows Indian software developer Peer Islands, which has a team based at the Health City Cayman Islands complex in High Rock, East End; and Ideas2IT which carries out offshore IT-related research and development.

Aviation and aerospace services company Daggaro, which is actively recruiting in Cayman, is also a TechCayman-sponsored company.

In each case, the companies are setting up a physical presence and demonstrating the ‘substance’ of genuine economic activity on island that is increasingly required by international tax standards.

TechCayman offers a streamlined start-up process for sponsored companies that should not take longer than 30 days, unlimited three-year renewable work permits typically issued within 10 days, and other immigration concessions.

Unlike the similar offering of Cayman Enterprise City, TechCayman is not tied to a specific location of office space within a special economic zone.

Tech Cayman says it is growing a tech-focussed ecosystem in which companies can network and cooperate. An early example of that is that Virtual Sonics are already collaborating with Peer Islands on recruitment, to tap into their extensive network of contacts in software engineering.

Gene Thompson, chairman of TechCayman, said he always knew that Cayman provided the perfect combination of modern infrastructure, qualified workforce and tax environment for technology innovation.

With future alignment of the education system, the growth of these companies should bring significant opportunities for younger Caymanians to develop technology-focussed careers.

“If we can now combine that with an education system that supports Caymanians developing the types of capabilities these companies will be seeking, we have the opportunity to build both a new pillar of the economy and an industry in which Caymanians can actively participate to build highly desirable and well-paid careers,” Thompson said.

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