04-07-2017 Haider Ali Khan
Dolby Laboratories has been constantly raising the bar in sound and visuals with breakthrough innovations. When it comes to large screen visuals, it has already created a distinct image of itself by offering a truly immersive viewing experience. And now, it is determined to conquer the universe of smartphones too by amalgamating the best sound and visuals on the smaller screens. OEMs like LG and Lenovo are working consistently with Dolby Technologies to innovate and get the best entertainment technologies to the consumers. Ashim Mathur, Senior Regional Director Marketing at Dolby Laboratories shared his experience with Haider Ali Khan of My Mobile on the Dolby’s strategies for the newer avenues such as smartphones, OEMs and much more.
Dolby Technologies in mobile phones were something unheard of but slowly it has become a must have feature. How did that transformation happen for you and OEM’s?
Sound has always been an important feature in phones. However, with the advent of smartphones the focus from sound shifted to other features like display size and quality, RAM and processor capability, battery life etc. Although display specifications make for good headlines for press releases, consumer research clearly demonstrates that improvements in audio drive greater satisfaction of the video experience and higher overall device satisfaction. With increasing video consumption on smartphones, the focus is shifting back to audio which is now acting as a key differentiator in handsets.
We are always looking at more ways to expand the reach of our technology, and with Lenovo’s several models launched last year, we introduced Dolby Atmos audio on mobile for the first time. Today, most of the Lenovo smartphones come with Dolby Atmos. LG recently announced the launch of LG G6 which is the world’s first smartphone with Dolby Vision. These launches are testimony of the fact that OEMs are looking at integrating technologies which make their devices stand out from the crowd.
From the large screens to the mobile displays, how are you adapting your content and technology to suit the next level of target audience?
We’ve evolved our technology to best fit the requirements of our partners & consumers. Be it cinema, home entertainment or portable & handheld devices, we’ve been consistently working towards adapting our technology to bring innovative solutions to the industry. Dolby works with all partners to provide end to end solution.
Which are the OEM’s have you been in touch apart from LG to lend your technology? What could be your next innovation for the mobile audiences?
We have worked with some of the top OEMs around the world to bring Dolby audio, Dolby Atmos & now, Dolby Vision across portable and handheld devices. Our partnership with LG encompasses variety of their products in which we integrate Dolby technologies. LG is the first OEM to bring Dolby Vision to its OLED TV range. LG’s recently launched G6 smartphone is also the first handset to feature Dolby Vision technology.
In addition to this, we have also collaborated with many global brands like Lenovo to add our technologies on laptops & notebooks. The partnership with Lenovo brought with it the first Dolby Atmos enabled smartphone- Lenovo A7000, and this feature remains consistent through the successive upgrades in several Lenovo smartphones.
What does an OEM basically requires today when it comes to audio and display?
Today, due to fierce competition in the market, manufacturers are looking at differentiating their products from one another by offering exclusive features to attract consumers. Be it display quality, or superiority in terms of audio, OEMs are going out of the way to bring innovation into their products. This is where we come in. We’ve been working closely with OEMs to understand the requirements & bring unique technology solutions enabling them to distinguish their product from competitors in the market.
Which are the newer avenues for you when the trend of going to cinema or multiplexes is going down? Is that a challenge for you?
the spread of multiplexes to smaller towns. There are close to 300 screens with Dolby Atmos in India, with around 300+ Dolby Atmos titles in released in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Marathi and Kannada. The advent of OTT players, the second screen is another option. More than this being a challenge, we have looked at it as an opportunity for us to expand our reach to a broader set of consumers. DTH providers & television channels, too, have been important partners for us, as we have looked to bring Dolby audio into homes, through broadcasters.
To summarize, we see this phase as a prospect to make our technology more accessible to a larger set of consumers.
What all are the Dolby Laboratories efforts to enhance the overall multimedia and entertainment experience in home entertainment and handheld devices?
We’ve also been working towards innovating new technology and upgrading existing technology to further enhance the multimedia experience. For example, surround sound on smartphones was unheard of and we were the first to bring the technology on handsets. We have also consistently been pioneers in the home entertainment space, bringing Dolby 5.1 & 7.1 surround sound channels to home theatre systems and then developing our technology further to bring immersive audio into homes with Dolby Atmos. Moving from audio to visuals, we introduced our HDR technology- Dolby Vision, to bring astonishing brightness, refined detail & ultra-vivid colours on televisions. Our objective is to collaborate with the right partners in order to bring the best audio & visual experience into homes and on smartphones.
What could be your next stop?
Taking forward our legacy, we will be working with more such partners across platforms & genres to bring the best audio & visual experience to consumers.