How to obtain your personal HRTF?
Ideally, your HRTF is measured in a specialized facility under controlled conditions. During such a measurement, a sound is played through a loudspeaker from a certain direction and microphones placed at the entrance of your ear canal register how your ears 'hear' this sound. This is repeated for all directions covering the sphere surrounding you. While the measurement procedure is conceptually simple, it requires sophisticated and expensive infrastructure to execute properly, which you are unlikely to have at home.
For the past ten years, different research teams have been searching for an easy way to obtain an HRTF at home. Since an acoustical measurement was not deemed possible, a common strategy was (and still is) to focus on the characterization of the shape of your head and/or ears. After all, it is their shape that determines the HRTF and they are more tangible than the invisible HRTF. And so the problem was shifted to finding ways to characterize the shape in sufficient detail with the limited facilities at home. With our technology we show that this detour is not necessary and that it is fairly easy to actually measure your HRTF at home in a way similar to that used in a specialized facility. And as Lord Kelvin already knew: to measure is to know.