• Loading…

Auracast™ - Hear, There and Everywhere

Most everyone reading this enjoys the benefits of Bluetooth®. Providing short-range wireless point-to-point solutions for many applications, including computer input devices (e.g. mice/keyboards), handsfree mobile phone communication, and streaming music to earbuds and speakers, Bluetooth has relieved us of cable anxiety. You know… the cable you can’t find, or the one you have but, oops, wrong connector. Bluetooth rescued us… just pair two devices (within close proximity) and voila!

In addition to that classic Bluetooth we all know and love, you may be aware of another Bluetooth technology – Bluetooth® Low Energy (LE) – that will likely have the same, if not greater, impact on our daily lives. If you haven’t already, we invite you to check out our two previous blog posts on the subject : Bluetooth® Classic vs. Bluetooth® Low Energy and The Power of Auracast™ in Assistive Listening.

All Bluetooth technologies, standards, licensing, and trademarks are administered by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), a 40,000 plus, not-for-profit, manufacturer consortium. As the name describes, Bluetooth Low Energy was designed to require much less power, resulting in extended operating time — particularly beneficial for small rechargeable devices. One of the many exciting Bluetooth LE applications is LE Audio, which enabled the development of Auracast™ broadcast audio.

Auracast™ is a new Bluetooth capability that will open the world of wireless to new, better sounding audio experiences. Let’s take a look at some of the many Auracast™ advancements that will elevate our listening future.

First, know that Auracast™ is a standard, part of the Bluetooth SIG’s specification that assures all Auracast™ products be interoperable. This means any brand Auracast™ device is compatible with any other brand’s Auracast™ device.

Auracast™ is a true broadcast platform, allowing an unlimited number of in-range Auracast™ compatible devices to receive an Auracast™ broadcast. And no pairing of devices! Selecting a broadcast is much like choosing a Wi-Fi network, the user simply selects the desired Auracast™ channel to hear that broadcast.

Whereas Classic Bluetooth connection is limited to your personal coverage area (about 30 feet), Auracast™ broadcast audio offers a substantial range increase that can extend well beyond 100 meters (328 feet) in all directions.

Optimized for audio, Auracast™ provides an elevated listening experience. The LE Audio platform means Auracast™ delivers a vastly improved, robust audio signal with extremely low latency, over Classic Bluetooth. Think of the sonic quality and delay-free signal of a wired connection. Auracast™ broadcast audio approaches that experience, without the cable. Low latency enables Auracast™ to function without perceived delay, making it perfect for many live applications (e.g. music, spoken word, video lip-sync, gaming).

With all these advancements, we see that the Auracast™ audio platform enables a transmitter to broadcast to any number of receivers. Some examples of an Auracast™ compatible transmitter include: a personal device (smartphone, tablet, laptop), a television, a venue sound system, or a public address system. Auracast™ compatible receivers can include earbuds, headphones, speakers, assistive listening devices (aha!), and hearing aids. Many Auracast™ compatible products are in development now, including firmware/software integration, hardware transmitters, receivers, and support for existing devices.

Now let’s imagine the near future and the experience of Auracast™ broadcast audio in our everyday lives.

So many places we go now have installed public displays, with content ranging from ballgames to demonstration videos to breaking news. But invariably the audio is either turned off or overwhelmed by noisy surroundings. Public displays will be able to utilize Auracast™ to broadcast their audio directly into your personal listening device.

Personal devices are often our portable entertainment centers. Whether in a doctor’s office waiting room or at an airport gate, you’re likely to see friends or families watching a video on a single device – let’s say a movie on a laptop. Maybe they’re sharing a set of wired earbuds or possibly going without the audio altogether. Now, picture adding Auracast™ broadcast audio capability to that laptop, then sharing the audio, by invitation, with your companions’ Auracast™ compatible hearing devices. The opportunities for audio access and sharing are intriguing.

Transportation hubs are typically hectic, noisy environments and PA system gate announcements are, in most cases, difficult to hear. Adding Auracast™ to the system would allow the traveler to choose, say, Gate B24 to hear those gate announcements directly into their hearing devices. But wait, what if you’re the family sharing a laptop movie in the preceding example? Well, Auracast™ will allow listeners to subscribe to two broadcasts simultaneously. So, catch the movie and catch your flight!

Remember, Auracast™ high-quality, low latency audio makes it a perfect listening solution for live applications. Be it a corporate event, lecture hall, or house of worship, adding an Auracast™ transmitter to the sound system will allow attendees to receive, and enjoy, exceptional in-sync direct audio. If the event offers simultaneous interpretation, those languages can be transmitted and available via Auracast™ as well.

The possibilities and applications of Bluetooth LE and Auracast™ are boundless, and it will be exciting to see how manufacturers incorporate the technology into their products. In just these few examples, we see how Auracast™ broadcast audio will affect our daily lives, delivering audio accessibility so we all can hear . . there and everywhere.

  • Written by Larry Lauzon, April 2024
Three separate ListenTALK receivers in a row with different group names on each display screen.
Sign up for our newsletter

We would love to deliver valuable insights right to your inbox once a month.

Happy smiling woman working in call center
How can we help?

We would love to answer your questions, provide you with a detailed quote, or send you more information.

Subscribe to Newsletter