Nokia’s Tech Brings 3D to Video-Audio Calls

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In telecom news, Nokia’s new immersive audio and video technology promises you 3D sound for a higher-quality call.

  • The new tech makes it, so the caller hears as if he’s sitting with the other person in the same environment.
  • The team called the Finnish Ambassador of Digitalization and New Technologies.
  • It’s part of the 5G advanced standard.

Nokia showed off its new immersive audio and video technology, which improves a call’s quality, possibly reshaping our calling habits.

After selling its mobile phone division to Microsoft in 2014, Nokia refocused on telecom. The team concentrated on providing network infrastructure and equipment for mobile phone companies worldwide. They supplied everything from cell towers to mobile switching centers.

A Telecom Giant

Seeking to push the field forward, Nokia has recently come out with its immersive audio and video tech, made of two parts: the 3GPP Immersive Voice and Audio Services (IVAS) codec and the Versatile Video Coding (VVC) technology.

Normal voice calls are what’s called ‘monophonic,’ meaning everything is compressed and flat. If someone is talking in the background, the listener will have a hard time making out what’s being said.

Nokia’s immersive audio and video tech, on the other hand, makes it so the caller hears 3D spatial sounds in real-time. And if more than one person is on the call, each voice will come from a different direction, mimicking the natural positioning in a physical space. This could force us to change our calling habits, so we don’t compromise our privacy.

As for Nokia’s VVC tech, it guarantees high-quality, low-latency video, making immersive video calls a reality. Together, the IVAS codec and the VVC tech make for a unique and novel sensory experience.

Nokia Technologies president Jenni Lukander said, “It is the biggest leap forward in the live voice calling experience since the introduction of monophonic telephony audio used in smartphones and PCs today.”

As a test, they called Finland’s Ambassador of Digitalization and New Technologies, Stefan Lindström, using a regular smartphone over a public 5G network. The ambassador is confident that the technology “will also take XR and metaverse interaction to the next level.”

A Group Effort

A consortium of 13 companies worked on the immersive audio and video technology, with Nokia at its head. It’s part of the 5G Advanced standard, which could offer faster speeds, improved energy efficiency, more accurate cellular-based positioning, and more.

They are drawing a set of norms that ensure compatibility, interoperability, safety, repeatability, or quality. The IVAS codec is also quite flexible, which enables its implementation on various platforms, be it on-device, in the cloud, or at the network edge. All that combined will allow network providers, chipset manufacturers, and handset manufacturers to implement it in their products. The final standard draft is not expected before 2025.

Things Are About to Change

Once it hits the telecom industry, our concept of good-quality voice calls will forever change, although it will present a definite learning curve to avoid any awkward situations. The quality of the immersive audio and video is so crisp that the caller will hear everything as if they were sitting right next to you.

With Nokia’s invention, you’d need to check that the coast is clear before answering phone calls. Imagine you answer a call while waiting at a doctor’s office, and whoever is on the other side can hear the old lady discussing her medical situation with the nurse. A lack of location awareness could jeopardize your, and others’ personal information.

Looks like in a year, we’ll have to become much more aware of our surroundings, lest we accidentally share information best kept private.

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