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Tuning in: Nokia surveys global perceptions of immersive-voice technology

Tuning in: Nokia surveys global perceptions of immersive-voice technology

Many people have experienced the benefits of immersive sound in entertainment applications. But fewer are familiar with how the technology can also improve voice and video calls – especially when multiple parties are on the line.

Immersive voice, as we call it at Nokia, essentially creates a three-dimensional soundscape that makes calls more lifelike and helps listeners to distinguish between each other.

Nokia wanted to gain more insight into how this technology is perceived around the world, so our team behind Nokia OZO conducted a robust survey among 4,000 people in four key markets: China, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The 4,000 respondents were equally split between the four countries and divided into two user groups – consumers and professionals – with each group testing three immersive-voice use cases: one-to-one calls, multi-party teleconferencing, and video calls. (See below for more information on the respondents’ profiles and how the survey was conducted.)

For each of the three use cases, respondents were played the same sample in both monophonic audio and immersive voice.

The feedback on the immersive-voice samples was strongly positive for all three experiences across the four markets. While respondents indicated an understanding of the perceived benefits of the three use cases, most said they had not yet experienced immersive voice.

The most notable finding is that the professional audience is significantly more aware of and interested in the benefits of immersive voice than consumers are. Professionals are interested in all three concepts, with video calling coming out on top. Their willingness to recommend immersive voice is reaching the early-majority stage of technology adoption.

Chinese respondents emerged as the frontrunners when it came to awareness of and interest in the technology, as well as in their willingness to spend. China was followed by the US, UK and Japan.

These findings are all helpful to our Nokia OZO team as we continue to develop and market a range of sonic features for the immersive-voice experience. We see benefits for device manufacturers, communication service providers (CSPs) and entire industries, with spatial audio helping to create new value-adding voice solutions, boost productivity and enhance critical communications.

By making calls more natural and lifelike, the technology creates a stronger sonic connection between people and immerses us in the moment that matters.

Background to the survey

Respondents were from all age brackets above 16 years. Different genders, geographical regions and household-income brackets were represented. Participants either owned a smartphone or intended to own one within six months.

The study utilized a sequential monadic-testing methodology, evaluating multiple concepts consecutively with consistent metrics and questionnaire loops. Data was collected and analyzed unweighted from 15to 25 January 2023. Respondents utilized headsets during the survey, and quality checks were executed to maintain data integrity.

While "immersive voice" is the term used by Nokia, the term "spatial audio" was used during the survey to ensure optimal understanding among participants.

Jyri Huopaniemi

About Jyri Huopaniemi

Jyri Huopaniemi is Head of Technology Licensing at Nokia Technologies, working with the world's leading manufacturers to help them integrate Nokia’s audio and visual technology innovations such as OZO Audio into their devices. 

In his 20+ years with Nokia, Jyri has focused on developing and productizing breakthrough innovations in many roles from R&D and standardization to heading licensing business. He has actively contributed to multiple fields of digital media, including audio and imaging technologies, mobile platforms and immersive media solutions. His interests outside work include playing and recording music, mastering digital photography and spending time with his family.

Tweet us at @Nokiaozo

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