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Samsung and Google’s answer to Dolby Atmos coming this year

IAMF will arrive sooner than we thought

(From left) SungHee Hwang, JeongHoon Park and WooHyun Nam

UPDATE: CES 2024 has come and gone, but not without revealing new information bout IAMF (Immersive Audio Model and Formats), the upcoming open-source spatial audio format created by Samsung and Google.

At the expo earlier this month, Samsung commented that not only is IAMF not the product’s final name, but that it is coming this year. The new format will come built-in to upcoming 2024 Samsung products, such as TVs and soundbars. The company says that while it is possible it will eventually be included in older products via firmware updates, nothing is set in stone on that front. What is certain, however, is that YouTube, which is owned by Google, will begin supporting the format later this year. YouTube notably does not support Dolby Atmos, meaning IAMF will have a monopoly on the platform when it comes to spatial audio.

The following was originally published December 5, 2023: 

In a surprising move, Samsung has announced that they have been working with Google for the last three years to develop a new type of spatial audio. Called ‘Immersive Audio Model and Formats’, or IAMF for short, the new spatial audio format is the world’s first to be open-source.

“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 in their press release. “In order to allow people to freely create content with 3D audio technology, related technology needs to be open to all. Providing a complete open-source framework for 3D audio, from creation to delivery and playback, will allow for even more diverse audio content experiences in the future,” continued WooHyun Nam from Samsung Research’s Visual Technology Team.

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Samsung reveals that IAMF was adopted by the Alliance for Open Media (AOM), of which Samsung and Google are both members, in October of this year.

The company states that there are three core characteristics of IAMF: Vertical Audio, AI-Based Audio and Customized Audio.

“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,” said Nam.

“Samsung and Google’s respective expertise in devices and content made the companies ideal partners to create IAMF technology,” said JeongHoon Park, EVP and Head of Visual Technology at Samsung Research. “By coming together to develop this unprecedented technology, we are paving the way for consumers to enjoy 3D audio in their homes.”


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