Yes it is obviously a new paradigm for the 'relationship' between the end-user (player) and his sample set(s). Talk about vanilla, chocolate or strawberry — now the 'whole damn parlour' (apparently) is up for grabs!
This is a potent technology, obvious even with 2-channel playback.
As I've stated elsewhere, a lot of the startling realism (never mind the versatility) this kind of encode/decode system is capable of (and all the more so should crosstalk-cancellation etc. be deployed as appropriate), is due to the information being presented from the correct direction. Headphones eliminate crosstalk and room effects, and (good ones) bring us into a beguiling intimacy with the sound source. Directional information, on the other hand, has routinely suffered, with the effects well described in the literature and familiar I think to all users.
Until now, it seems. A lot of you are going to want to have a look at this:http://www.smyth-research.com/
While Inspired Acoustics (and possibly others) have been working on providing highly-versatile sample libraries/virtual organs, Smyth Research has done something at least as extraordinary — sweeping away (surely) virtually every lingering objection to the traditional headphone experience. I've been following this technology for several years now and the bang available from this thing at US $3000 (which includes the 'complimentary' STAX electrostatic headset!) is totally unprecedented — even motion-tracking for comfortable head movement. Anyway, the website explains itself quite well. With a reference room/loudspeaker array of suitable quality, the calibrated-to-individual algorithms place you uncannily and authentically within that environment. Nice.
Looking forward to the opportunity of a 'test drive' — especially an interactive one with a surround- or Surround Customizer-capable organ.