‘3D spatial sound’ should make voice and video calls more immersive

Nokia made the first voice and video call using ‘3D spatial sound’. — AFP Relaxnews

Nokia recently made the first voice and video call in “3D spatial sound”, a technology that will be offered with the future 5G Advanced standard. This premiere promises three-dimensional sound, as if the person you’re talking to is right there with you.

This very first cellular call made in "3D spatial sound" is a feat achieved thanks to the new IVAS codec (for Immersive Voice and Audio Services). Incidentally, it was made by Nokia CEO Pekka Lundmark to Stefan Lindström, the Finnish Ambassador of Digitalization and New Technologies.

This is a spectacular leap forward, given that today almost all voice calls offer a monophonic experience, using only one audio channel to transmit the voice. The codec developed by Nokia gives the impression of being in the same room as the caller, even if they are actually on the other side of the world.

This codec enables spatial sound on all connected devices: smartphones, tablets and computers. In the future, this will also apply to virtual reality and metaverse access tools. It will be an integral part of 5G Advanced (or 5.5G), the future standard for 5G networks, which could start rolling out in 2025 or 2026.

The idea is to make spatial audio communication accessible to all, thanks to the interaction of the progress made by chip and smartphone manufacturers, as well as telephone operators.

The notion of spatial audio was introduced by Apple in 2021, as three-dimensional immersive sound, meant to immerse the listener right into the heart of the action, be it a concert, a movie, a game and so on. Today, many people can already enjoy it, provided they have compatible hardware, via streaming platforms such as Apple Music or Netflix. – AFP Relaxnews

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