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Sensaura, a division of Creative Technology, is a company that provides 3D audio effect technology for the interactive entertainment industry.


Following its origin as a research project at Thorn EMI's Central Research Laboratories ("CRL", based in Hayes, United Kingdom) in 1991, Sensaura become a supplier of 3D audio technology. By 1998 Sensaura had licensed its technology to the audio chip manufacturers (ESS Technology, Crystal Semiconductor/Cirrus Logic and Yamaha), who at that time supplied 70% of the PC audio market. Subsequent licensees included NVIDIA, Analog Devices, VIA Technologies (expired, replaced by QSound) and C-Media Electronics.

In 1993 Sensaura released a CD sampler disc 'beyond stereo...' containing four tracks; 1. Roadside 2. Railway Station 3. RAF Band 4. Falla: Final Dance from "The Three-Cornered Hat"

These tracks, recorded live, were intended to illustrate what could be achieved in terms of 3D sound from a two-channel stereo set-up.

Some commercial recordings followed:

Milla Jovovich, The Divine Comedy (1994),

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 9, Benjamin Zander, Philharmonia Orchestra (1999)

The MacRobert Award was presented to Sensaura by the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2001.

Sensaura technology was shipped on more than 24 million game consoles and 150 million PCs (on soundcards, motherboards and external USB audio devices). As well as being licensed directly for the first Microsoft Xbox hardware, the technology was also available as a middleware product, GameCODA, for the Xbox, Sony PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube.

In December 2003 the Sensaura business and IP portfolio was bought by Creative Technology/Creative Labs /Creative. Sensaura continued to operate as an R&D division within Creative, however following a major reduction in staff numbers in March 2007, it ceased supplying audio technologies for PC sound cards, game consoles but focused on other product areas, including involvement with the OpenSL ES standard. Following further headcount reductions in 2008, the remaining Sensaura engineers were absorbed into Creative's 3DLabs subsidiary.

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