Hello everyone and welcome to ZD Tech, ZDNet’s daily editorial podcast. My name is Guillaume Serriesand today I explain to you what is Auracast, a system for broadcasting the same sound in Bluetooth mode.
It is a new brand, named Auracast, based on Bluetooth wireless protocol. Its goal ? Power an unlimited number of wireless headphones with the same signal in public areas.
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group, the association that manages the Bluetooth protocol, created this new brand to develop and promote the technology, which allows an audio transmitter to transmit sound to an “unlimited” number of nearby headphones.
Yes, it’s a bit like the principle of radio, applied on a very small scale
It’s quite counter-intuitive, hard to grasp, because most Bluetooth connections in use today feature a single transmitter and a single receiver. And it’s usually a laptop that sends sound to a pair of headphones or a smartphone that plays sound through an external speaker.
Auracast promises to power a large number of headsets and other devices over Bluetooth using a single transmitter. Yes, it’s a bit like the principle of radio, applied on a very small scale.
And the transmitter can be a smartphone, a laptop or even a television.
Something to revolutionize the system of audioguides in museums
One of the use cases highlighted is to allow owners of places and managers of public spaces to offer audio experiences that improve visitor satisfaction and accessibility. Something to revolutionize, for example, the system of audioguides in museums, which could then be summed up by connecting your wireless headphones to the museum’s network.
The Bluetooth SIG mentions as another example of use sharing the audio output of home screens among friends and family members. Or improving the audio quality for people with hearing loss, by providing them with a direct channel to the sound broadcast in a public space, such as a train station or a conference room.
Please note, however, that Auracast’s specifications will require the use of compatible devices to operate. And those specs are expected to be released in the coming months. And above all, no deadline has been set for the marketing of the first compatible products.
Still, developers can already learn about this technology by visiting the official Auracast web page.