Bluetooth Auracast Will Be Able To Broadcast Sound To Unlimited Users
It’s hard to imagine but Bluetooth has been with us since 1998 when Bluetooth SIG was formed to oversee the development of the wireless technology that is now embedded in five billion tech products shipped each year. Bluetooth SIG now has 38,000 member companies and its job is to coordinate the new and enhanced specifications of this wireless technology that so many of us use each day.
Today, Bluetooth is the wireless technology of choice in many areas including audio streaming, data transfer, location services and large-scale device networks. The latest development in the standard has just been announced by Bluetooth SIG and it’s going to be a significant one.
The new consumer branding for the upcoming audio broadcasting capability based on Bluetooth technology was previously known as Audio Sharing. From now on it will be known as Auracast broadcast audio. The aim is to promote Auracast to the public as a new way for consumers to engage with each other and the world around them via audio
It’s been around two decades since the shift started from wired to the wireless audio devices using the capabilities of Bluetooth that so many of us rely on today. Now, this latest development in technology will change again the way we experience and consume audio.
Auracast broadcast audio will enable an audio transmitter – whether that be a smartphone, laptop or television – to broadcast audio to an unlimited number of nearby Bluetooth audio receivers, including speakers, earbuds or even hearing-aid devices. With Auracast broadcast audio, a user can invite other people to share their audio experience. They could be listening to a song or a movie playing on their smartphone, tablet, or laptop, which they can then Auracast to family or friends so they can join in and listen using their Auracast-enabled Bluetooth earbuds or hearing devices.
Another useful feature offered by Auracast broadcast audio is the ability for anyone to enjoy audio from a television in a public space. Auracast can unmute what was once a silent screen and create a more natural watching experience. Silent televisions in public venues like airports, gymnasiums, restaurants and waiting rooms will be able to broadcast audio so that any visitor with a pair of Auracast-enabled Bluetooth earbuds or hearing aids will be able to hear the sound from the TV.
Auracast broadcast audio will enable people to hear better wherever they go. For example, when visiting a public venue such as a transit center, cinema, conference center, houses of worship and more, a user will be able to receive audio broadcasts from the public address system directly into their Auracast-enabled Bluetooth earbuds or hearing device. Travelers at an airport will be able to receive essential flight announcements, such as gate changes, boarding schedules, plus other travel information, directly to their audio device. When used in this mode, Auracast broadcast audio will function as the next-generation assistive listening system (ALS) technology.
“The impact of Bluetooth audio has been massive. A simple, wireless audio connection between two Bluetooth devices has helped make our roads safer, our lives more productive, and our relationship with music, podcasts, video streaming, and all types of personal audio more convenient and joyful,” said Mark Powell, CEO of the Bluetooth SIG. “The launch of Auracast broadcast audio will usher in yet another sea change in the audio market. The ability to broadcast Bluetooth audio will reshape personal audio sharing while also enabling public venues and spaces to deliver audio experiences that will improve occupant and visitor satisfaction and increase accessibility.”
Availability: The Bluetooth specifications that define Auracast broadcast audio are part of the Bluetooth LE Audio specification suite and are expected to be released within the next few months. Audio product developers and venue operators can learn more about Auracast broadcast audio by visiting bluetooth.com/auracast.