Dolby Digital to bring Atmos surround sound technology to mobile devices in 2014

While smartphones have advanced a lot in terms of its computing speed, camera and battery, there is still one area where most of the devices lacks punch. That is its speakers. There are hardly any smartphones out there who can boast of a great speaker with the only exception being HTC One’s boom sound speakers. But this may change in the coming years, as Dolby Digital is all set to bring its famous Atmos surround sound technology to mobile devices.

Dolby Atmos technology was released back in 2012 and most of the Hollywood directors and theatres have started using this tech. However, the company is planning to bring this surround sound feature to mobile devices later this year and it explained how it would do it at the MWC event back in Barcelona.

According to Dolby, the company is using complex algorithms which work on a dedicated audio processor or an ARM core to deliver a surround sound like experience to mobile devices. Given that these devices generally have single speakers or a pair of them placed nearby, it would be impressive if the company could incorporate this tech to future smartphones.

“It gets very exciting when you think of taking that [Atmos] blueprint and putting it on a tablet or smartphone,” Dolby Digital Laboratories product manager for mobile Joel Susal said in a presentation. “The goal is to transport you.”

According to Joel, the algorithms trick the users into thinking that they are listening to surround sound. So, irrespective of the number of speakers on the device, Atmos technology would allow audio output to sound like its coming from above, below or from the sides. This will truly revolutionize the smartphone entertainment experience.

However, as mentioned above, the technology requires a dedicated audio processor, so it won’t be available in all smartphones. But high end flagships, running on a processor like the upcoming Snapdragon 805 SoC can take advantage of this tech to provide a rich entertainment experience to its users. This also means that upcoming flagships, expected to release in the coming months like HTC One and Note IV may not feature this tech.

Many of the movies which feature this technology like Gravity won awards for its amazing sound effects. So, it would be interesting to see whether this tech for mobile devices deliver a similar kind of experience.

Dolby expects to release Atmos for mobile devices by the end of the year.

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About the author

Joel is an experienced blogger who covers all kinds of news relating to tech. He is a huge fan of Android and can be seen playing around with his phone in his spare time.