Samsung and Google partner to develop 3D spatial audio tool

Samsung and Google partner to develop 3D spatial audio tool
Samsung and Google have announced a partnership to develop a new spatial audio format, with the potential to rival Dolby Atmos.

The jointly developed tool, the Immersive Audio Model and Formats (IAMF) is envisioned as an advanced 3D spatial audio technology that was adopted by the Alliance for Open Media (AOM) in October 2023, the first open-source based audio technology to be adopted by the AOM.

The work was spearheaded by Samsung’s Visual Technology Team, working with Google to develop an audio system that would enable viewers to experience content audio as intended.

This requires a uniform standard to send and receive audio data smoothly between creators and device manufacturers.

With IAMF, audio can be expressed vertically to enable more advanced multi-directional sound, enabling listeners to hear audio in front, behind, or to the side, as well as above and below.

AI and deep learning technology is used to analyse scenes and emphasise aspects of the content, adjusting audio levels throughout the viewing experience, using IAMF to fine-tune audio such as on-screen dialogue and music when needed.

Users will also be able to customise sound according to their preferences using IAMF, such as amplifying sound effects or dialogue, adding the flexibility to customise content.

WooHyun Nam, head of part: spatial audio, Samsung Research, commented: “3D audio makes you feel as if you’re really in the heart of the action by adjusting the strength, movement and vibrance of the sound… In order to allow people to freely create content with 3D audio technology, related technology needs to be open to all.

Providing a complete open-source framework for 3D audio, from creation to delivery and playback, will allow for even more diverse audio content experiences in the future. I want to create a more advanced 3D audio technology that makes users feel like they are truly in the scene of a movie, TV show or live event. I also hope to continue this research until 3D audio is applied to Samsung’s smartphones.”

Pictured (from L to R): SungHee Hwang, JeongHoon Park and WooHyun Nam, Samsung Research 

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