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The future is calling: World’s first 3D phone conversation

12 June 2024

Image: Shutterstock
Image: Shutterstock

Nokia has announced that it has successfully made the first immersive cellular call, using 5G.

Pekka Lundmark, Nokia's President and CEO, held a live immersive audio and video call with Stefan Lindström, Finland's Ambassador of Digitalisation and New Technologies.

The call was enabled by the new Immersive Voice and Audio Services (IVAS) codec technology which is part of the upcoming 5G Advanced standard. The IVAS codec allows consumers to hear sound spatially in real-time instead of today’s monophonic smartphone voice call experience. 

Lundmark demonstrated the distinctive acoustic dimensions that can be experienced with the new IVAS technology to Lindström while calling him from Nokia’s campus in Espoo. 

Stefan Lindström, Finnish Ambassador of Digitalisation and New Technologies, said: "The live immersive voice and audio experience enabled by IVAS improves the richness and quality of the call, and the three-dimensional sound experience makes interaction more lifelike and engaging, bringing a wealth of new benefits to personal and professional communication.

“Immersive communications technology will also take XR and metaverse interaction to the next level."

"We have demonstrated the future of voice calls,” Pekka Lundmark, President and CEO of Nokia, said. 

“This groundbreaking audio technology takes you to the caller’s environment creating a spatial and massively improved listening experience for voice and video calls, offering significant benefits for enterprise and industrial applications."

The Immersive Voice and Audio Services (IVAS) codec technology enables live spatial audio across any connected devices (e.g. smartphones, tablets or PCs), bringing people together for real-life interaction with three-dimensional sound.

Nokia says that is the biggest leap forward in the live voice calling experience since the introduction of monophonic telephony audio used in smartphones and PCs today.

The 3GPP IVAS codec standard has been developed by a consortium of 13 companies under the framework of the IVAS codec public collaboration. 

Nokia has been at the forefront of these standardisation efforts and has contributed major parts of the technology to the standard, including the development of a smartphone-specific format for the IVAS standard. 

Including this innovation in a worldwide standard is the key to enabling interoperability between operators, chipset and handset manufacturers, making spatial communication available for all. 

Jenni Lukander, President of Nokia Technologies, said: "I am proud of the leading role Nokia’s researchers and engineers have played in creating these innovative immersive voice and audio technologies. Thanks to standardisation, the whole world will now benefit from this innovation."

Nokia was able to demonstrate the IVAS technology in a real-time call, even though the technology has not yet been implemented in mobile networks. This first live call used Nokia’s proprietary Immersive Voice technology to achieve the experience over a public 5G network.


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