Tech giants Samsung and Google have joined forces to introduce a groundbreaking audio technology known as the Immersive Audio Model and Formats (IAMF). Set to compete with established 3D audio technologies like Dolby Atmos, IAMF aims to bring immersive audio to mainstream audiences by enabling devices to decode and utilize 3D audio data.
IAMF, a 3D audio solution, transcends conventional audio experiences by making even the subtlest sounds and ambient noise come to life, creating a truly immersive audio environment. This technology is poised to redefine home theatre systems, offering a next-gen 3D audio experience beyond the limitations of stereo right and left channels.
What is Immersive Audio Model and Formats? IAMF is a collaborative effort between Samsung and Google to democratize 3D audio for mainstream consumers. Despite the revolutionary nature of spatial audio, it has yet to permeate most home theatre setups due to the limited decoding capabilities of many affordable audio devices. IAMF is positioned to address this gap, allowing audio manufacturers to implement advanced 3D audio decoding on their devices, enhancing audio detail and richness.
Importantly, IAMF adopts an open-source approach, making it an ideal choice for manufacturers seeking to avoid licensing fees while embracing cutting-edge audio technology.
How Does IAMF Work? Samsung and Google’s IAMF standard introduces three key features to enhance the 3D audio experience:
- Customizable Audio: IAMF allows users to fine-tune their 3D audio experience by separating different layers of the audio track. Whether it’s a game soundtrack, commentary track, or audio from a sports channel, users can choose what to focus on, providing a personalized audio experience.
- AI-based Audio Effects and Scene Analysis: Leveraging deep learning and AI, IAMF analyzes different scenes from content and adjusts the audio accordingly. This includes enhancing bass during explosions and emphasizing dialogue for a more immersive scene-based audio experience. The technology adapts to various environments, considering the surroundings for optimal adjustments.
- Vertical Sound: IAMF distinguishes itself by prioritizing the vertical aspects of sound, offering a more engaging and natural sound output. This feature brings a new dimension to audio experiences, allowing users to hear sounds from the top, creating a more authentic and immersive atmosphere.
Future of IAMF: As 3D audio gains importance in redefining content experiences, the collaboration between Google and Samsung for an open-source standard marks a significant milestone. Currently adopted by the Alliance for Open Media, IAMF has proven to be one of the most promising commercial 3D audio solutions. While it may take some time to reach the widespread adoption seen by Dolby Atmos and other surround sound technologies, IAMF’s potential to make immersive audio more accessible suggests a bright future for content consumption.