Apple removed the trusty headphone jack from iPhones back in 2016 and the Bluetooth wearables sector has since come a long way. They have now become one of the largest-selling tech products in the world. Today, most of us own a pair of Bluetooth-enabled TWS earbuds for the convenience of a wireless listening experience. Now, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (Bluetooth SIG) has introduced a brand new technology that will take our TWS earbuds to a whole new level. Read the details below to find out more!
Bluetooth Auracast Audio Broadcasting Technology Announced
The Bluetooth SIG recently took to an official blog post to announce a new audio broadcasting technology called “Augmenting Reality Audio Broadcasting” or simply Auracast. This technology will allow supported TWS earbuds and hearing aids to connect to any Auracast-enabled device at home or in public places. Confused? Let me explain.
Currently, Bluetooth Audio sharing features on iOS and Android only allow users to connect up to two pairs of Bluetooth earbuds at a time to share audio with a friend or family member. With Auracast, users will be able to connect more than two pairs of Bluetooth-enabled TWS earbuds to share their audio with multiple friends and family members simultaneously.
Furthermore, Auracast will enable supported TWS earbuds and hearing aids to seamlessly connect to Auracast-enabled TVs, PAs, and other output devices in public places, unlocking the full potential of wireless audio experiences. This way, one can easily connect their Bluetooth earbuds or hearing aid devices to a muted TV in a mall or to the Public Address system in an airport to receive essential flight information right in their ears.
“Hearing and understanding speech in various environments can be a daily struggle for people with any degree of hearing loss,” said Barbara Kelley, the Executive Director of the Hearing Loss Association of America. “The advent of technologies like Auracast broadcast audio has the potential to give people who wear hearing aids and cochlear implants an important new option for hearing access in their everyday lives,” she further added.
Now, coming to some technicalities, the Auracast technology is built atop the existing Bluetooth LE Audio protocol. However, instead of limiting the maximum number of connectable audio devices to two, Auracast allows any number of Bluetooth-enabled devices in range to connect to a single output device.
Bluetooth SIG says that users will be able to connect their Bluetooth earbuds or hearing aids to devices in public places using a similar process as the process of connecting to public Wi-Fi networks. Moreover, the broadcast can also be limited to specific devices with the right passkey.
As for the availability of the technology, Bluetooth SIG confirmed that it will be available for audio developers and OEMs within the next few months. Meanwhile, you can check out the video attached above and go to the dedicated Auracast microsite to learn more about the technology. Also, let us know your thoughts on it in the comments below.