Last year, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) released Auracast™ broadcast audio. This next generation of audio innovation promised to propel audio streaming forward by letting you hear your best, unmute your world, share your audio, and enhance the way you engage with the world around you. This week, at Mobile World Congress Barcelona (MWC) 2023, that promise became a reality.

On 28 February 2023, the Bluetooth SIG provided an in-depth look into what it will be like to experience Auracast™ broadcast audio in the real world. The Auracast™ Experience was an exclusive demonstration of some of the new audio use cases Auracast™ broadcast audio will enable. Visitors who participated in each simulated location were able to hear for themselves how Auracast™ broadcast audio will help the world sound better.

How It Works

Auracast™ broadcast audio is a new Bluetooth® capability that enables an audio source device – such as a smartphone, laptop, TV, or even a public address or sound system – to transmit Bluetooth audio to any number of in-range Bluetooth audio receivers – such as headphones, earbuds, or even hearing aids.

Each person was provided with a pair of Auracast™ enabled earbuds and a smartphone with an Auracast™ app that allowed them to scan for, join, and listen to the Auracast™ broadcasts in three sample environments (In the future, we will all be able to seamlessly use our own devices to experience Auracast™ broadcast audio).

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“The Auracast™ Experience from the Bluetooth SIG at MWC23 gave an insight into the wide-ranging opportunities for the technology in multiple end markets. It’s viability in markets from hearing impaired support services to mass information systems, hospitality and entertainment, and industrial safety shows it has the potential to become another horizontally pervasive technology under the Bluetooth SIG banner.”
– Stuart Carlaw – ABI Research

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Hearing Your Best in Auditoriums

Public venues like auditoriums, lecture halls, cinemas, theaters, and transit centers will soon add support for Auracast™ broadcast audio to the existing sound systems, enabling us to hear our best in the places we go and promoting better living through better hearing for everyone. Visitors to the Auracast™ Experience had an opportunity to directly hear how Auracast™ broadcast audio will enhance existing sound systems.

Placed at the back of an auditorium during a mock lecture, participants could not clearly hear the presenter on the venue sound system alone. However, by joining the audio stream via the Auracast™ app on their smartphone, attendees heard the same audio emitting from the auditorium speakers directly into their Auracast™ earbuds.

Auracast Experience 11

“MWC is one of my favorite times of the year and, for 2023, I got to check out the Auracast™ Experience enabled by Qualcomm-based earbuds. What does this actually do? Imagine a future where you can tap into any audio around you, for example, in a bar, at the airport gate, or when at home and you want to listen to your TV all to yourself or share a movie on a flight wirelessly over Bluetooth®? It’s pretty awesome. I’ll even go as far as to saying it was my fav tech out of MWC this year.”
– Tomi, GadgetsBoy

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Unmuting Silent TVs at the Airport

Next, event guests had a chance to experience how Auracast™ broadcast audio can unmute silent TVs in public spaces. Locations like sports bars, gymnasiums, transit centers, restaurants, waiting areas, and more will soon add support for Auracast™ broadcast audio to their silent TVs, allowing visitors to unmute what was once silent and providing a more complete watching experience.

For this demonstration, participants visited a sample sports bar in an airport terminal. As is typically the case, the bar had multiple TVs showing different games with the sound turned off, so guests could not hear what was happening on any TV. Fortunately, this simulated bar added support for Auracast™ broadcast audio to all their TVs. Using the Auracast™ app on their smartphones, participants could choose which TV audio stream they wanted to join and hear the sound in their Auracast™ earbuds. Guests could even seamlessly switch between TV audio streams at any time and with no delay.

“Auracast™ broadcast audio was an MWC highlight for me – the use case demonstrations were clear and compelling. Auracast™ broadcast audio has the potential to be a game changer in terms of hearables use cases across large and important vertical applications such as professional audio vertical environments, including PA systems, live audio, and events but also hearing health management and quite a bit more.”
– Simon Bryant, CCS Insight

Sharing Your Audio With Family and Friends

Auracast Experience 12

We have all experienced situations where we are using our earbuds to listen to music from our smartphone or watch a movie on our laptop, and we want to let someone we are with hear what we are hearing. Instead of having to take one of our own earbuds out and hand it to them, it would be great if they could connect with their own earbuds and listen at the same time.  

Soon, smartphones and laptops will be adding support for Auracast broadcast audio, letting others around you use their own Bluetooth® earbuds to join in when you are listening to music on your smartphone or watching a movie on your laptop.  

For this demonstration, visitors at a modeled airport gate experienced how Auracast™ broadcast audio lets you share your audio with your friends and family. Participants simultaneously watched a movie on a single laptop using their own Auracast™ enabled earbuds. The person with the laptop used the Auracast™ app on their device to invite others around them to watch at the same time. Using the Auracast™ app on their smartphone, participants scanned for nearby Auracast™ broadcasts, selected the laptop, and the audio from the movie began directly streaming into their Auracast™ earbuds.

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Hearing Gate Announcements in the Terminal

Even in the best circumstances, boarding and gate announcements in an airport terminal can be difficult to hear. At the modeled airport gate, participants also got to experience a similar situation as they did in the auditorium. As with auditoriums, venues like airports will be able to add support for Auracast™ broadcast audio to their existing sound system so visitors can hear high-quality public address audio in their Bluetooth® earbuds or hearing aids.

For this demonstration, participants used the Auracast™ app on their smartphone to scan for and join Auracast™ broadcasts for their gate. The same announcements made over the gate speakers then streamed directly to their Auracast™ earbuds.

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Not Just for Earbuds

For each demonstration at The Auracast Experience, participants listened via their earbuds, but this same capability and experience will also be available to someone using an Auracast™ enabled hearing aid. In this way, Auracast™ broadcast audio has the potential to be the next-generation assistive listening system, increasing accessibility and helping people with all levels of hearing health to hear their best.

“Auracast™ broadcast audio really struck me as one of the best things I’ve seen this week (at MWC).”
– Leo Gebbie, CCS Insight

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Bluetooth SIGは昨年、「Auracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオ」を公開しました。次世代オーディオ技術であるAuracastTMブロードキャスト オーディオは、最高の音質、ミュートの解除、オーディオ共有を通じて人と周りの世界の関わりをさらに豊かにすることを可能にし、それによりオーディオストリーミングの進化を約束しています。 その約束が世界最大のモバイル関連展示会MWCバルセロナ2023で実現されました。

2023年2月28日、Bluetooth SIGはMWCバルセロナ2023で、実生活でのAuracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオを疑似体験し、深く知るためのデモイベントを開催しました。「Auracast™エクスペリエンス」と題されたこのイベントでは、Auracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオが可能にするオーディオの新しいユースケースの一部について特別デモが実施されました。参加者は自分の耳で、ユースケースの場を模した各会場でAuracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオが向上させるオーディオの世界を体験しました。

Auracast Experience 14

デモイベントの概要

新しいBluetooth®機能である Auracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオは、音源機器(スマートフォン、ノートパソコン、テレビ、さらには業務放送システムやその他の音声サービスシステムなど)から、その受信範囲にあるオーディオ受信機(ヘッドホンやイヤホン、補聴器)に、受信機の台数に制限なくBluetoothでオーディオを送信できます。

デモの参加者に配られたのはAuracast™対応のイヤホンと、Auracast™配信をスキャン、受信、再生できるAuracast™アプリの入ったスマートフォンです。それらを用い、3つのサンプル環境でAuracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオを体験しました(将来的には、各自が自分のデバイスを使用してAuracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオをシームレスに利用できるようになります)。

講堂で最高の音質を

Auracast Experience 11

講堂、大講義室、映画館、劇場、公共交通拠点など 大勢の人が集まる公共の場では、既存の音声放送サービスシステムに追加する形でAuracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオへの対応が始まることになるでしょう。それにより行く先々で最善の音声を聞くことが可能になり、より良い聞こえを通じてあらゆる人の暮らしやすさが向上します。Auracast™エクスペリエンスの参加者は、Auracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオが既存の音声サービスシステムをどのように拡充可能か体験しました。

参加者は、模擬講演が行われている講堂の最後部に座り、施設の音声サービスシステムで講演者の声を聞きましたが、はっきりと聞き取ることはできません。そこでスマートフォンのAuracast™アプリを使用すると、講堂のスピーカーから流れているものと同じ音声を、Auracast™対応のイヤホンから直接聞くことができました。

空港の無音テレビをミュート解除

Auracast Experience 15

次いで参加者は、Auracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオを使用した公共の場にある無音テレビのミュート解除も体験しました。スポーツバー、室内競技場、公共交通拠点、レストラン、待合施設をはじめとするさまざまな場所で、無音テレビがAuracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオに対応するようになると、施設利用者は個別にミュートを解除して無音テレビを音声付きで視聴できるようになります。

このデモでは、「空港内のスポーツバー」がサンプルとして用意されました。このようなバーに典型的なように複数のテレビではそれぞれ異なる試合の様子が流れていますが、無音であるため音声から状況を知ることはできません。幸いなことに、模擬バーでは全てのテレビがAuracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオに対応しています。参加者はスマートフォンのAuracast™アプリを使用し、受信したいテレビのオーディオストリームを選択してAuracast™対応のイヤホンで音声を聞くことができました。別のテレビ音声への切り替えもいつでも遅延なく可能です。

家族や友人とオーディオを共有

Auracast Experience 12

スマートフォンの音楽やノートパソコンの映画をイヤホンで視聴しているとき、その音声を他の人にも聞かせたくなった経験は誰にでもあるでしょう。イヤホンの片方を外して相手に渡す代わりに、相手が自分のイヤホンで同時に聴けたらどんなにいいでしょう。

近い将来、スマートフォンやノートパソコンがAuracastブロードキャスト オーディオに対応するようになると、周囲の人がスマートフォンの音楽やノートパソコンでの映画の視聴に、各自のBluetooth®イヤホンで一緒に参加できるようになります。

このデモでは空港の搭乗ゲートを模した会場で、Auracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオを使用して友人や家族とオーディオを共有する方法を体験しました。参加者は各自のAuracast対応イヤホンで、一台のノートパソコンで再生される映画を同時視聴しました。まず、ノートパソコンを持った参加者が、搭載されたAuracast™アプリで周囲の参加者を同時視聴に招待します。招待された参加者は、自分のスマートフォンのAuracast™アプリで周辺のAuracast™配信をスキャンしノートパソコンを選択、すると自分のAuracast™イヤホンで映画の音声を直接聞けるようになったのです。

空港ターミナルの搭乗案内を聞く

Auracast Experience 13

最善に整えられた環境でも、空港ターミナルでの搭乗案内は聞き取りにくいものです。空港の搭乗ゲートを模した会場では、参加者は講堂と似た状況を体験しました。空港などの施設では講堂と同じように、施設利用者が各自のBluetooth®対応イヤホン・補聴器で高音質の場内放送を聴けるようにするため、既存の音声サービスシステムにAuracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオの追加が可能です。

このデモの参加者は、スマートフォンのAuracast™アプリで自分の搭乗ゲートに関するAuracast™配信をスキャンして受信し、搭乗ゲートのスピーカーと同じアナウンスのストリーミング音声をAuracast™イヤホンで直接聞くことができました。

イヤホン以外にも対応

Auracastエクスペリエンスの参加者はイヤホンを介して音声を聞きましたが、Auracast™対応の補聴器でも機能と使い勝手は同じです。Auracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオは次世代聴覚補助システム(ALS)に成長する可能性を持ち、あらゆる聴覚レベルの人のアクセシビリティの向上と聞こえの改善に貢献します。

Auracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオに関する詳細はこちらをご覧ください。

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