bluetooth® technology now supports Auracast™ broadcast audio, a new capability that allows an audio transmitter to broadcast to an unlimited number of nearby audio receivers. Auracast™ broadcast audio promises to deliver life-changing audio experiences, improving the way people interact with others and the world around them.
With the release, the capabilities are Auracast™ broadcast audio is causing quite a buzz across the industry and there are questions about the impact of this innovation on the wireless audio market.
Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about Auracast™ broadcast audio.
Answers to frequently asked questions
Will cell phones work like an Auracast™ Transmitter?
Yes. Mobile phones may qualify with the Public Broadcast Profile (PBP) source role to enable Auracast™ broadcast audio broadcasts from the smartphone. This will mainly be used in the personal sharing use case mentioned in the presentation.
In the case of a private audio broadcast, is there an authentication feature to allow access only to authorized listeners?
The specification does allow an encrypted broadcast code for private listening.
What types of devices will broadcast Auracast™ broadcast audio in a room? Dedicated channels or built into other devices such as Wi-Fi access points?
It will be a central broadcasting station for the public space. This can take many forms. It could be a special Auracast™ transmitter, or it can be integrated into other devices, such as a Wi-Fi access point. Auracast™ broadcast audio can even be integrated directly into an audio source such as a microphone for live audio events and tour systems. This is up to the innovation of the device and system manufacturers.
does Auracast™ broadcast audio work with current Bluetooth hardware, or do all devices, both receivers and transmitters, have to be replaced?
The new specifications enable upgradeability of existing products in the field. Whether field upgrades take place depends on the underlying Bluetooth® capabilities already present in a device and the vendor’s product strategy. We do expect that some product types can be upgraded, but they have no understanding of specific product strategies.
How do I connect to an Auracast™ broadcast?
There are a number of ways to offer the Auracast™ channel information to the Auracast™ receiver through the Auracast™ assistant. The Auracast™ assistant can be an app or use an NFC/QR code to capture the broadcast information needed for the Auracast™ connect receiver. See how it works.
What is the range of an Auracast™ broadcast?
The range of the broadcast depends on the version. For example, a single Auracast™ Transmitter can reach more than 30 meters depending on transmitting power and antenna design.
How is an Auracast™ broadcast encrypted?
Broadcast broadcasts can be either private (encrypted) or open (unencrypted). You can set up a passcode, similar to Wi-Fi, to join personal Auracast™ channels. For Auracast™ channels in public areas, unencrypted audio streams are recommended.
Do you see an opportunity to create public alerts (in broadcast) that act as push notifications for smart devices such as a smartphone? (e.g. to report flight delays or other specific information)
These are all good use cases for Auracast™ broadcast audio. The example of a flight delay does not have to come from the smart device. This could be from an Auracast™ broadcast public address (PA) for the specific port, as an example.
How can we ensure that no manufacturer will make its own variant of Auracast™ transmit sound?
Auracast™ broadcast audio is by definition and requirements universal. A proprietary variant will not carry the Auracast™ name or trademarks. We are working closely with the ecosystem – including Pro AV, hearing aids, consumer source devices (e.g. phone, tablet, PC and TV), consumer hearing aids and audio infrastructure providers – to drive widespread adoption and adoption of Auracast to guarantee™ broadcast audio.
How many channels can be used for Auracast™ transmit sound?
Theoretically, the number is unlimited. However, this may be limited by hardware resource availability. Consult the individual manufacturer.