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    Samsung develops IAMF spatial audio tech with Google to rival Dolby Atmos

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    Last updated: January 22nd, 2024 at 19:36 UTC+01:00

    Samsung has announced that it has jointly developed a new and advanced 3D spatial audio technology with Google. Called IAMF (Immersive Audio Model and Formats), the spatial audio technology has been adopted by AOM (Alliance for Open Media), which consists of several firms, including Amazon, AMD, Arm, Apple, Google, Huawei, Intel, LG, Meta, Microsoft, Netflix, Nvidia, OPPO, Snap, Tencent, Vivo, WD, and Zoom.

    This new audio technology was rumored a few months ago, and it is possible that it will be paired with HDR10+ in the future to rival Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos (which are proprietary formats).

    IAMF is an open-source 3D spatial audio technology that can rival Dolby Atmos

    The South Korean firm says that it worked diligently with Google to develop an open-source audio solution that allows viewers to experience audio as intended by creators. This technology has been specifically developed with home audio and mobile devices in mind. It will come to TVs, soundbars, and smartphones in the future. IAMF will likely rival the industry's leading spatial audio format, Dolby Atmos.

    IAMF 3D Spatial Audio Features

    IAMF consists of three features: the ability to express sound vertically, AI-based scene analysis and 3D audio effects, and a high level of audio customization. While previous open-source audio solutions could only express sound horizontally (left, right, front, and rear), IAMF supports vertical sound expansion, which means it can reproduce sound effects above and below as well, similar to Dolby Atmos. For example, when applied to TV speakers or soundbars, in a scene with birds flying, sound can be heard coming from above the viewer.

    This new audio technology also uses AI and deep learning technologies to analyze scenes to know where the audio is coming from in a frame. Then, it emphasizes certain audio elements. For example, it can emphasize dialog in scenes with heavy background score so the viewer can easily understand what a person is saying. Moreover, it can adjust audio as per the device (TV speakers or soundbar) that is reproducing it to offer optimum audio quality. With IAMF, users can adjust the sound according to their preferences. They can amplify the sounds of certain elements thanks to the flexibility offered by IAMF.

    IAMF could come to TVs, soundbars, and smartphones in the future

    JeongHoon Park, Executive Vice President and Head of Visual Technology Team at Samsung Research, said, “My hope is that Samsung’s sound technology will enable consumers to enjoy an upgraded audio experience that is on par with that of current visual experiences. I hope that content creators will utilize Samsung’s audio technology to make 3D audio content accessible. Additionally, we aim to create a supportive environment that enables researchers to take on bold and exciting challenges such as expanding Samsung’s audio technology.

    Since IAMF is an open-source technology, both corporate and independent creators can use it. Samsung believes that IAMF's open-source nature will help with expanding its availability and usage. The South Korean firm and its engineers believe that IAMF will standardize 3D spatial audio and continue to evolve through continuous development.

    TV GoogleIAMFSamsung DXSamsung ElectronicsSamsung Research

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