Nokia CEO pioneers first ‘immersive’ telephone conversation in the world

Nokia’s CEO Pekka Lundmark recently unveiled a groundbreaking technology called “immersive audio and video” during a phone call, which enhances the quality of calls by providing three-dimensional sound. This technology aims to make interactions more realistic and lifelike. Lundmark, who was present during the first 2G call in 1991, emphasized that this new technology represents the future of voice calls.

Currently, smartphone calls are mono, compressing audio elements and resulting in flatter and less detailed sound. The new immersive audio technology will provide 3D audio, allowing callers to hear everything as if they were physically present with the other person. According to Jenni Lukander, president of Nokia Technologies, this is the most significant advancement in live voice calling since the introduction of monophonic telephony audio.

During a recent call with Stefan Lindström, Finland’s Ambassador of Digitalisation and New Technologies, Nokia demonstrated this technology. The company plans to standardize this technology to enable network providers, chipset manufacturers, and handset manufacturers to implement it in their products. The call was made using a regular smartphone over a public 5G network.

Aside from person-to-person immersive calls, this technology can also be utilized in conference calls by separating the voices of participants based on their spatial locations. Jyri Huopaniemi, head of audio research at Nokia Technologies, explained that most smartphones have at least two microphones, which can support this technology by transmitting the spatial characteristics of a call in real-time. Nokia aims to license this technology as part of the upcoming 5G Advanced standard, anticipating widespread availability in a few years.

The immersive audio and video technology has immense potential for transforming communication experiences across various sectors such as gaming, entertainment, education, and healthcare. For instance, gamers can experience more realistic sound effects when playing games on their smartphones or tablets with immersive audio tech enabled.

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