A lot of the advancements made in smartphone and tablet technology seems to concentrate only on its processor and display. Looking at any new Android smartphone you will often see that its display is getting better however the sound quality still remains the same. Sometimes manufacturers will rely on their own technology such as the BoomSound of HTC or the Natural Sound Technology of BlackBerry to bring a better sound experience to their devices.
Dolby, a company well known for its audio technology, aims to give mobile devices better sound quality by bringing its Dolby Atmos surround sound technology to smartphones and tablets. This allows consumers to watch movies on their mobile devices with the same sound effect as that in theaters.
Dolby Atmos is the next level in surround experience that was first introduced in 2012. This technology allowed designers to place sounds wherever they wanted it to be. Sound can be coming from above, below, the left, the right, or anywhere. This makes movies more realistic as viewers can watch a car speeding away that has the same sound as a car in real life moving away.
Dolby showed this technology at the MWC 2014 and apparently it can work on mobile devices. It is able to work on devices with a dedicated audio processor or an ARM chip with the aid of special algorithms. Joel Susal, Dolby Laboratories Product Manager for Mobile, said that “Atmos revolutionizes the way sound is created, communicated, and how it is disseminated. The artist is free to put the audio where it belongs.”
Dolby announced that that Atmos will become available this year to mobile devices however did not give specific details as to which smartphones or tablets will be sporting this feature. The company however said that most devices that will use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset will be able to use this surround sound feature.
Some of the key features of this technology include
- Creates clearer, more accurately positioned cinema sound; uses object-oriented mixing to layer independent sound elements over channel-based audio content
- Captures all the director’s intent as descriptive metadata to provide customized playback for each theatre
- Automatically generates optimum soundtracks for theatres with 5.1- and 7.1-channel setups
- Delivers a rich, realistic sound experience through support for up to 128 simultaneous and lossless audio elements in a mix
- Scales easily to any size theatre, with up to 64 independent speaker outputs