Samsung & Google are building 3D spatial audio tech to rival Dolby Atmos

Jitendra Soni
Samsung Dolby Atmos

Google and Samsung are partnering to challenge Dolby Atmos with a new open-source immersive audio technology.

South Korean tech giant Samsung and American powerhouse Google are reportedly working on a new, immersive 3D spatial audio technology.

This new Dolby Atmos rival is dubbed Immersive Audio Model and Formats (IAMF) and has been in the works since 2020. It is a result of the two technology giants coming together for “Project Caviar,” pushing forward innovation around open and royalty-free HDR video and 3D audio.

According to Samsung, this new 3D audio technology aims to change how you consume content and bring thrilling action scenes to life while capturing the quietest details of ambient noise.

WooHyun Nam from Samsung Research’s Visual Technology Team said:

“IAMF makes sound more realistic by allowing listeners to hear the audio in front, behind, or to either side and above or below them.

“As such, when IAMF technology is applied to home TV speakers and sound bars, listeners can hear sounds such as birds flying over their head on their TVs at home.”

In a nutshell, 3D Spatial audio technology follows the user and offers a highly immersive listening experience. It helps create a perception of surrounding sound without requiring a complex multi-speaker system setup. This technology artificially creates the experience of sound coming at you from all directions, heightening realism.

Samsung 3D Audio Tech

Nam also confirmed that IAMF will utilize the powers of Artificial Intelligence to analyze scenes and automatically fine-tune the audio wherever required. He said, “IAMF will balance the sound in these instances. Similarly, the technology will fine-tune audio when there is character dialogue to allow the listener to focus on the conversation.”

Samsung & Google are the opening spatial audio playground to all

While Samsung has been slow at adopting Dolby’s flagship Vision and Atmos, we did see the South Korean company finally introducing Dolby Atmos last year. However, it has preferred HDR10+ over Dolby Vision.

To recall, HDR10+ is also a product of Project Caviar and is crucial in competing with Dolby. However, the road ahead for IAMF may be more complex than Google and Samsung might want.

Though its open-source nature could help faster adoption by creators and brands, a catchy name would surely help it earn recognition among end users.