A new variant of Bluetooth will be released in the coming months and you should know about it as it will bring significant changes to the way we share audio, some of which will be life changing.
This new capability, formerly known as Audio Sharing, is now called Auracast Broadcast Audio. Essentially, Auracast allows an audio transmitter (read: smartphone, tablet, laptop, TV, or sound system) to stream audio to any number of nearby Bluetooth audio receivers, including portable speakers, truly wireless headphones, or earphones.
Now Apple AirPod owners already have a personalized way to share audio between multiple headphones, but only with other Apple or Beats headphones. With this new implementation of Bluetooth, you'll be able to share audio from one device to multiple headphones, and they don't have to be AirPods.
There is no confirmation yet on which devices will receive Auracast. It uses Bluetooth LE Audio to operate, which is part of Bluetooth 5.2, but we've asked for clarification and will update this post with more information.
Analysis: Auracast is huge, just consider the implications
“The launch of Auracast streaming audio will trigger another massive shift in the wireless audio market,” said Mark Powell, CEO of the Bluetooth SIG, adding, “The ability to stream and share audio using Bluetooth technology will reshape audio. staff and enable public venues and spaces to deliver audio experiences that will improve visitor satisfaction and increase accessibility.”
Certainly for hearing aid users, the implications here are huge, even life changing. Of course, Auracast will allow us all to invite a friend to enjoy our curated playlist without having to sacrifice one of our own headphones (provided they have brought their own), but we will also be able to enjoy television in public spaces. Think of those silent TVs in public places like airports, gyms, and waiting rooms. They will soon be able to stream audio that can be accessed by any visitor with Auracast-enabled Bluetooth headsets or headphones.
Now imagine you are in an airport. Essential flight announcements, gate changes, boarding times and other travel information can be accessed directly on your personal audio device from the airport's public address system.
"While current assistive listening systems such as inductive loops have provided great benefits to people with hearing loss, they face a number of challenges that have limited their implementation, including poor quality, high cost and lack of privacy. WiFore said. CTO Nick Hunn. “Auracast streaming audio is well positioned to become a new advanced assistive listening system that will be much easier and less expensive to implement, while providing better audio quality and privacy, improving audio accessibility and promoting a better life through better hearing.”
With around 2035 million (opens in a new tab) adults expected to have a hearing loss greater than 14,2 dBHL across the UK by 25, this is good news.