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In today’s increasingly digital and mobile world, audio consumption and sharing have become integral parts of daily life. Auracast™ broadcast audio, a new Bluetooth® capability, allows audio-transmitting devices to broadcast to an unlimited number of audio-receiving devices within range, providing users with a new audio experience whether in personal or public spaces.

Auracast™ broadcast audio has received an overwhelming response from the market since its release and is gradually being applied in various scenarios. According to the 2024 Bluetooth Market Update, analysts expect to see significant growth in Auracast™ enabled devices and deployments in public locations over the next five years, driving new experiences and increasing the value of Bluetooth audio peripherals. In addition, 2.5 million public locations are expected to deploy Auracast broadcast audio by 2030.

With the rapid development of the new electric vehicle industry in China, Barrot, a provider of short-range wireless communication solutions, has recognized the innovative application potential of Auracast™ broadcast audio in smart car cabins. The company is providing entertainment audio and video solutions enabled by Bluetooth technology for automakers. Recently, I met with Mr. Haibin Li, vice president and director of automotive electronics products at Barrot, to discuss the application scenarios and market trends of Auracast™ broadcast audio in smart car cabins.

Q&A With Haibin Li From Barrot

Could you highlight some of the Auracast™ products and solutions developed by Barrot?

Barrot is a member of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG). Our chief technical experts have been actively involved in Bluetooth SIG working groups, contributing to the development and formulation of the Bluetooth LE Audio protocol and LC3 codec algorithm. Before the specification was released, Bluetooth SIG members and companies in the working groups conducted prototype development and testing.

In 2023, as the organizer of the UPF conference in China, we held two events in Shanghai and Chongqing. Bluetooth LE Audio was one of the testing focuses at the UPF conference last year. Our protocol stack and audio algorithms have been interoperability tested with over twenty Bluetooth SIG member companies in China. Based on our audio algorithm technology and chips from partner manufacturers, we have developed module-level solutions and completed the initial productization of Auracast™ broadcast audio. Our solutions will first be applied in the smart cabin field.

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NEW REPORT

Auracast™ Broadcast Audio Retrofit Solutions and Opportunities

This report by ABI Research delves into the opportunity for public spaces to offer new Auracast™ augmented audio experiences and enhanced assistive listening to its occupants and visitors by using cost-effective retrofit Auracast™ solutions, accelerating wider adoption of Auracast™ transmitters as well as receiver devices.

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What are the advantages of using Bluetooth LE Audio and Auracast™ broadcast audio in smart car cabin solutions?

At The Auracast™ Experience exhibition hosted by the Bluetooth SIG last year, participants got to experience Auracast™ broadcast audio firsthand through simulated public scenarios, such as an airport bar, boarding gate, and conference center. In addition to these scenarios, we are excited to see the potential and innovation of Auracast™ broadcast audio in smart car cabins.

With the upgrade of smart cabins, cars are no longer just transportation vehicles but also the third intelligent space beside the home and office. The in-car infotainment system not only satisfies the driver and passengers’ pursuit of entertainment audio video but also integrates functions such as navigation, assisted driving, safety, vehicle information, hotspots, and more. Through wireless communication, the infotainment system in smart cabins is becoming a powerful tool for enhancing driver and passenger productivity. Bluetooth® technology is an essential short-range wireless communication technology in smart cabins, building an interconnected ecosystem between the car, mobile phones, headphones, and other peripherals. The entertainment audio-video system not only provides a better audio experience but also becomes a new interactive entry point after smartphones and televisions.

bluetooth le audio headphones

The demand for high-quality in-car audio from drivers and passengers is continuously increasing, leading car manufacturers to integrate more speaker arrays into advanced car audio systems to create an audio atmosphere that rivals or surpasses high-end home theaters. In new high-end car models, the number of speakers is increasing. As applications become more complex, in-car systems must have the capability to support multiple connections and roles. Bluetooth LE Audio technology adopts a new ISOC (isochronous) architecture, supporting multiple audio streams and Auracast™ broadcast audio, and uses the new low-complexity communication codec (LC3), surpassing mainstream Bluetooth codecs in terms of audio quality, low power consumption, and latency. It can improve user experience in multiple audio stream scenarios and enable innovative applications in entertainment audio-video systems.

What are the use cases that Auracast broadcast audio enables in smart car cabins and how do they address market needs?

Previously, the central infotainment audio-video system was only connected to the driver’s smartphone, supporting Bluetooth® hands-free calls or streaming music from the smartphone via the car’s infotainment system. Currently, with the significant increase in the number of intelligent devices inside the cabin and the focus on passenger entertainment, audio-video in-car infotainment solutions have become increasingly complex.

For example, the driver may be listening to music while the passenger in the front seat is attending a meeting or the front and rear passengers are listening to different music. Typical applications of Auracast™ broadcast audio include passengers watching movies on a projection screen in the car and listening to movie sound through headphones without distracting the driver.

Auracast™ broadcast audio also allows passengers to share their music anytime, anywhere. The personalized entertainment audio-video needs of drivers and passengers will be greatly satisfied, and different in-car audio-sharing scenarios can be realized. Auracast™ broadcast audio not only meets personalized scenario-based needs but also reduces costs. Many car manufacturers are already beginning to deploy such applications. We are providing Bluetooth entertainment audio solutions that support Auracast™ broadcast audio for automakers, including modules, algorithms, and protocol stacks.

How do you think Auracast™ broadcast audio will influence the audio market in the future?

3 billion le audio enabled devices are forecasted to ship annually by 2028

Auracast™ broadcast audio allows one audio source device to broadcast one or more audio streams to an unlimited number of audio-receiving devices, enabling personal and location-based audio sharing. According to the 2024 Bluetooth Market Update, three billion Bluetooth LE Audio enabled devices are forecasted to ship annually by 2028, and Bluetooth LE Audio will be included in nearly all new smartphones, tablets, and laptops. This is a very encouraging data point. In the next five years, the development of Auracast™ broadcast audio devices and their deployment in public spaces will significantly increase, driving new audio experiences, providing new opportunities for audio accessibility, and shining in fields such as automotive electronics and motorcycles, leading innovation in multimedia entertainment audio-video in smart cabins and smart riding.

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The Auracast™ Experience

The Auracast™ Experience is a global series of immersive demonstration events that allow visitors to experience some of the ways Auracast™ broadcast audio will help our world sound better.

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