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Samsung & Google Develop Dolby Atmos Substitute

Samsung has now embraced Dolby Atmos for its 2022-2023 TV models, the TV maker has also teamed up with Google to create a rival, alternative technology.

The South Korean company has collaborated with Google to develop an alternative, Immersive Audio Model and Formats (IAMF), and is publicly sharing details.

“Samsung Electronics’ advanced research institute Samsung Research has been striving to popularize 3D audio since 2020. To this end, Samsung worked with Google to jointly develop Immersive Audio Model and Formats (IAMF),” said Samsung.

According to Samsung, IAMF has three foundational features: vertical sound, ai scene analysis, and user-customised audio.

WooHyun Nam from Samsung Research’s Visual Technology Team said: “As such, when IAMF technology is applied to home TV speakers and sound bars, it allows listeners to hear sounds such as birds flying over their head on their TVs at home.”

Spatial audio – or 3D audio – is established tech used in all matter of products such as TVs, receivers soundbars, and headphones supported for Atmos and DTS:X.

IAMF, however, is the earliest open-source spatial audio technology and was adopted by the Alliance for Open Media (AOM) in 2023, of which Google and Samsung are members.

Previously to this development, details surfaced on “Project Caviar”, where both companies were working on royalty-free alternatives to Dolby Vision and Atmos.

HDR10+ and IAMF are the video and audio technologies of Project Caviar, a collaboration between Samsung and Google, but critics say there have been obstacles considering Samsung only added Dolby Atmos support to its 2022 TVs, but not Dolby Vision.

We expect to learn more about this new Dolby Atmos alternative at CES.

In Samsung’s Own Words RE: Immersive Audio Model and Formats (IAMF)

“1. Ability To Express Sound Vertically Previous open-source audio codecs only supported horizontal sound expression. With IAMF technology, audio can now be expressed vertically so that sound is increasingly multi-directional. 2. AI-Based Scene Analysis and 3D Audio Effects IAMF utilizes AI and deep-learning technology to analyze scenes and emphasize certain aspects of the content — adjusting audio levels for more enhanced sound throughout the viewing experience. In addition, IAMF technology provides optimal sound despite changes in the device environment. 3. Highly Customized Audio Users will be able to freely adjust sound according to their preferences with IAMF technology. Whether viewers are looking to amplify sound effects from an action scene or enhance dialogue, IAMF gives them the flexibility to customize content audio for a more personalized experience.”

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