Bluetooth® Audio Sharing will be a new, global consumer service that will deliver enhanced listening experiences and audio accessibility for everyone, improving the way you engage with others and the world around you.
Helping Your World Sound Better
With Bluetooth Audio Sharing, you will be able to listen with others, tune into public TVs, and improve your overall listening experience. Soon, you will be able to share your audio experience with people around you, such as sharing music from your smartphone with family and friends. Smartphones, tablets, and laptops will allow you to listen to music and watch videos together.
“Bluetooth® LE has the potential to be used as an ALS across a variety of public applications.”
– Andrew Thomas, Contacta
You will also be able to listen to public TVs at all kinds of public venues, such as gyms, bars, and restaurants. Plus, you will be able to improve your listening experience in the places you work or play. Public address systems will help you hear better at airports, theaters, conference centers, lecture halls, places of worship, and other venues.
According to Nikolai Bisgaard from the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA), Bluetooth® Audio Sharing will enable easier listening of audio in venues where noise can prevent a quality experience. “For instance, TV monitors in public areas are normally muted, and you must read the transcribed text in ticker lines,” said Bisgaard. “With Bluetooth Audio Sharing, you will be able to pick the sound directly in your hearing instruments, headsets, or earbuds and listen without disturbing other people.”
Enhanced Audio for People With Hearing Loss
Bluetooth Audio Sharing will also improve the lives of people with hearing loss and introduce a new generation of hearing aids and assistive listening systems. Bisgaard says that this new feature will create amazing opportunities for streaming audio signals to large audiences without prior pairing of the source and hearing aids. “Large-area listening in public venues is currently the use case we believe will bring the most benefits for hearing aid users,” said Bisgaard.
“Large-area listening in public venues is currently the use case we believe will bring the most benefits for hearing aid users.”
– Nikolai Bisgaard, EHIMA
According to Bisgaard, as it stands now, many people with hearing loss must have access to assistive listening systems (ALS) with direct streaming to fully enjoy sound in public venues where competing noise and reverberation pose serious challenges. “When an affordable, mainstream technology like Bluetooth technology can provide such services, we will see a proliferation of assistive listening systems to the benefit of hearing aid users across the world,” said Bisgaard.
Jeff Solum from Starkey says they expect to see the emergence of many more venues supporting assistive listening. With Bluetooth® Audio Sharing, the cost to equip venues will be more affordable, and it will be easier to deploy, ensuring assistive listening will become more widely available. “Currently, there is just no way to equip all the possible places offering live audio with telecoil systems,” said Solum. “But being able to place an RF audio gateway based on the new Bluetooth® LE standard just about anywhere there is a power source and an audio source is a complete game changer for people with hearing loss.”
Andrew Thomas from Contacta, an innovator of assistive listing technology, says installing large loop systems can be challenging and costly. “Bluetooth LE has the potential to be used as an ALS across a variety of public applications,” said Thomas. “There will be opportunities to develop new products as the technology develops, particularly outside of the ALS arena.”
Having direct access to audio will be a huge benefit for everyone, not just those with hearing loss. “Soon, you will be able to listen to your music player and also receive other types of audio from other devices without having to always be connected to those devices,” said Solum.
Join In, Intuitively
Working groups within the Bluetooth Special Interest Group are currently hard at work defining the experience users might have when finding and joining Bluetooth® Audio Sharing broadcasts and ensuring the process is easy and intuitive for all. Among the potential methods to be adopted are a few very familiar ones. And, not surprisingly, the smartphone will likely play a big role.
It’s likely that you will be able to simply use your smartphone to:
Search for a Bluetooth Audio Sharing broadcast the same way you search for and connect to a Wi-Fi network
Tap to hear, making access to audio broadcasts quick and easy
Scan a QR code to effortlessly join an audio broadcast
Learn more about Bluetooth® Audio Sharing and the next generation of Bluetooth audio.