I talked with Dolby a bit at PAX and they seemed pretty excited about this stuff. They asked me what I thought needed to be improved about voice communication in a game. Essentially I told them that the voice needs to take place in the game and not in a sort of meta-layer where you can hear everyone perfectly and sound quality is universally low. They said that was exactly what they were working on, and today they’ve announced their new voice communication technology Axon at the Austin GDC.
I hope this gets picked up by a lot of games because it addresses all the problems I have with voice comms in games. It adds 3D positioning, occlusion, environmental factors, and basically optimizes and modularizes the system so that it’s not some half-assed walkie-talkie tacked onto your game.