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It’s time to experience Immersive Voice for yourself

Immersive Voice

2023 promises to be a big year for voice communication—and Nokia is set to play a central role in this great leap forward. Back in November 2022, I wrote about the exciting ways in which Nokia’s Immersive Voice technology is set to bring spatial audio to live calls. With the 2023 edition of Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress fast approaching (February 27 – March 2), I wanted to take a little time to go into the ways in which attendees can experience Immersive Voice for themselves.

We first revealed Immersive Voice at the Slush 2022 technology conference in Helsinki last November. There we exhibited the aural potential for multi-party teleconference calls and one-to-one call applications. These demonstrations will be on display again at MWC along with a new demo, in which users can join us on a video call powered by spatial audio. This new demo provides an even fuller idea of how live calls will be experienced soon. 

It's time to experience immersive live video calls

Audio capabilities in mobile devices have advanced dramatically in recent years. Forward-thinking 3GPP companies have been exploring ways in which a three-dimensional sound can be incorporated into end users’ voice calls. Aside from improved user experience, 3D audio has real and concrete benefits for industrial and enterprise applications. Immersive Voice marks the biggest single progression from the monophonic calls that have been standard ever since the telephone was invented a century and a half ago. Our series of Immersive Voice demonstrations set out to showcase the new possibilities available for one-to-one video calls and multi-party teleconference calls. Visitors will be able to switch between the richness of spatial audio and the traditional one-channel mono call experience to compare between the old and the new. Since Immersive Voice inherently processes 3D audio, it is possible to use head tracking, where the geographical direction of the audio remains the same even when you turn around (just as it does in “real life”). This feature is also available in our MWC demo. 

The future of voice calls is now

It’s important to realise that this technology is not a concept, nor in an early development phase—it already works today. Nokia has managed to bring it to life building on technologies that already exist and supplement them with our spatial audio processing technology. It’s an evolution of Nokia’s OZO Audio and OZO Playback portfolio that have been bringing users more immersive audio capture and playback experiences for some time now.

We are currently at the piloting stage and aim to work with a greater number of partners, including smart device OEMs, CSPs and OTTs, to develop appealing use cases. If you want to join forces and help drive the future of voice communication, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Drop a line or call me or my colleagues to set up a meeting. And if you are in Barcelona at the end of the month, come check out the demos. You can find us at Nokia’s public demo space, booth 3A20. Hearing is believing! 

Kai Havukainen

About Kai Havukainen

Kai ‘Kaizu’ Havukainen is Head of Product in Nokia Technologies, overseeing the product roadmap and marketing activities of the company’s technology licensing business. Kai holds master’s degree in signal processing and 20 years of experience in Nokia. He has been working in various roles in Finland and the US, including audio engineering, business development, sales, and quality management. In his free time Kaizu enjoys building all sort of things out of wood and electronics.

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