Nokia targets device makers with Ozo audio tech - Mobile World Live

Nokia targets device makers with Ozo audio tech

12 OCT 2018

Nokia said its OZO Audio technology, which can be integrated into devices to deliver spatial audio, can deliver remarkable results for consumer videos captured using mobiles.

Paul Melin, VP of digital media at Nokia (pictured, below), explained the technology has already been licensed by HMD Global, the company which now offers devices using the Nokia brand, and is also present in the flagship of another, unnamed, smartphone maker.

While Nokia is focusing on the mobile device market, it could be applicable for other camera applications, and “we are clearly in discussions with many, many more customers”.

The executive detailed two capabilities it can enable: OZO Focus allows a user to choose any direction in the 360-degreess around them, including elevation, and amplify audio from that direction.

“That’s a feature that is highly relevant for the [artificial intelligence] AI-enabled camera applications, where cameras are already aware of what they are looking at. So when you have people speaking, or performing music, or otherwise, you are able to analyse the theme and know what’s relevant, and also process the sound capture optimally for each use case,” he told Mobile World Live.

OZO Zoom, the second capability, is “basically attaching that audio focus with the video zoom, so that whenever you zoom when shooting your own videos with your phone, the audio focus corresponds with the visual zoom. Whatever is within the frame gets amplified, whatever is outside the frame gets suppressed”.

“The differences you can get with these techniques in the audio quality is really quite remarkable,” Melin said.

Spatial sound
OZO Audio is a software solution which takes the different microphone signals captured by the device, analyses and processes them to deliver a better audio signal as an output. It is integrated with the camera app, and “adapted and tuned” to the hardware.

“To get this spatial experience of hearing the sound richly around you, you only need two microphones. To do this zooming of the audio you need a minimum of three. And many of today’s devices already have that number of microphones for other reasons, so we are not really advocating that you should add microphones because of our technology,” he said.

OZO Audio can be traced back to when Nokia had its own devices unit, with the Finnish company retaining the capabilities once its hardware activities were sold-off.

“Over the past few years, we have invested quite a lot into VR, building a media solutions business in the emerging virtual reality market. But when the VR market did not quite take off overall as we had originally expected, we have been reorienting these technologies to focus on use cases that are immediately applicable and relevant for a large number of consumers immediately, really in the mobile device side,” Melin said.

“Some of the audio technologies developed for VR are highly applicable in any camera or mobile device.”



Steve Costello

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