As 2024 progresses, more and more Auracast™ receivers (earbuds, hearing aids, headphones, and speakers) are coming to market. However, there’s been some concern that the lack of widely available Auracast™ transmitters (phones, tablets, PCs, TVs, sound systems, and stand-alone systems) is slowing down full market adoption.

Fortunately, there’s an interim solution. Recently, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group released a new Auracast™ guide for Developing Auracast™ Receivers With an Assistant Application for Legacy Smartphones. This paper looks at how to combine new Auracast™ receivers with applications that can run on legacy smartphones to accelerate the market, letting companies ship Auracast™ earbuds today, increasing market reach, and growing user awareness.

Auracast™ Receivers for Legacy Smartphones

le audio headphones

Enabled by Bluetooth® LE Audio, Auracast™ broadcast audio will support new audio experiences to help the world sound better – from sharing your audio and unmuting silent TVs to helping you hear your best in any environment.

The new Auracast™ broadcast audio experience requires different companies to come together to bring this new functionality to both legacy and new devices. To deliver the full experience of Auracast™ broadcast audio, three different elements are necessary:

  • Auracast™ receivers (i.e., earbuds, headphones, hearing aids, speakers, etc.)
  • Auracast™ transmitters, which can exist in phones, tablets, PCs, TVs, sound systems, and stand-alone systems
  • Auracast™ assistants, which let a user choose which Auracast™ audio stream they want to listen to

The first wave of Auracast™ receivers is already appearing in the form of dual-mode devices supporting both Bluetooth Classic Audio profiles and the new Bluetooth LE Audio profiles. This reflects the fact that consumers are more likely to upgrade their earbuds, headphones, and hearing aids when these products are compatible with a user’s legacy device.

Auracast™ transmitters for personal and public spaces are also coming to market, initially as standalone transmitters that plug into the audio outputs of TVs, A/V equipment, and phones.

Master Icon File Paper

NEW PAPER

Developing Auracast™ Receivers with an Assistant Application for Legacy Smartphones

This guide explains how audio receiver manufacturers can start supporting Auracast™ broadcast audio in their products today and increase the likelihood users can immediately take advantage of Auracast™ broadcast audio in public spaces with existing, new, and future products.

INSTANT DOWNLOAD

The growing number of stand-alone Auracast™ transmitters means that users need a way to find, join, and leave their preferred Auracast™ broadcast. This requires an Auracast™ assistant, which acts as a client for your Auracast™ receiver. In the future, this client functionality will be built into Auracast™ enabled smartphones, tablets, watches, and PCs, but it will take time for these devices to come to market with native capabilities. However, manufacturers of hearing aids, earbuds, and headphones do not need to wait. Auracast™ assistant functionality can be provided by designing earbuds, headphones, and hearing aids to work with stand-alone Auracast™ assistant applications and existing smartphones.

This flexibility means that manufacturers can start supporting Auracast™ products today, confident that they will be interoperable with existing, new, and future products. It adds a slight level of complexity to an Auracast™ receiver design but accelerates the availability of the new Auracast™ audio experiences. It also provides the opportunity for product innovation, especially in Auracast™ transmitters and audio applications.

The attraction of the new Auracast™ use cases cannot be understated. Companies at the forefront of bringing these new audio experiences to market have the potential to become leaders in a new wave of audio applications.

Bringing Auracast™ Broadcast Audio to Market Faster

LE Audio Listening Social

By following a few key design recommendations and building a standalone Auracast™ assistant application, Auracast™ receiver manufacturers can bring the Auracast™ experience to market faster. With dual-mode receivers, we encourage manufacturers to consider supporting the Auracast™ broadcast audio features first, before integrating support for unicast. This way, users can immediately take advantage of the new capabilities of Auracast™ broadcast audio without the requirement to update their smartphone.

The Auracast™ experience enables a whole new range of audio experiences for users, from the excitement of audio in public spaces, to completely new social audio applications supporting personal audio sharing. These can be made available now, and companies can exploit them using legacy phone applications.

The solutions explored within Developing Auracast™ Receivers With an Assistant Application for Legacy Smartphones build on mandatory features of the Bluetooth® LE Audio specifications. This means that products supporting the full Auracast™ experience can be implemented within your existing product development timescales.

Following the approach in this guide can help accelerate the market adoption for Auracast™ broadcast audio and increase the likelihood that users can immediately take advantage of Auracast™ broadcast audio with new receivers.

Master Icon File Paper

NEW PAPER

Developing Auracast™ Receivers with an Assistant Application for Legacy Smartphones

This guide explains how audio receiver manufacturers can start supporting Auracast™ broadcast audio in their products today and increase the likelihood users can immediately take advantage of Auracast™ broadcast audio in public spaces with existing, new, and future products.

INSTANT DOWNLOAD

2024年が進むにつれ、ますます多くのAuracast™受信機(イヤホン、補聴器、ヘッドホン、スピーカーなど)が市場に登場しています。その一方で、Auracast™送信機(携帯電話、タブレット、PC、テレビ、音響システム、スタンドアロン型システムなど)の広範な普及の欠如が、市場での採用を鈍化させているのではないかという懸念も持たれています。

幸い、幅広い普及に至るまでの間も当面の解決策があります。先日、Bluetooth SIG(Special Interest Group)はAuracast™に関する新たなガイド「Developing Auracast™ Receivers With an Assistant Application for Legacy Smartphones(Auracast™非対応スマートフォン向けアシスタントアプリケーションを備えたAuracast™受信機の開発)」を公開しました。本資料では、新たなAuracast™受信機をAuracast™非対応スマートフォンで稼働するアプリと組み合わせることで、市場の加速と、企業によるAuracast™対応イヤホンの出荷および市場リーチの拡大、ユーザーによる認知を高める方法について解説しています。

非対応スマートフォン向けAuracast™受信機

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Bluetooth®︎ LE Audioが可能にするAuracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオは、オーディオ共有、無音テレビのミュート解除、いかなる環境でも最高の音で聴くことを支援する、という新しいオーディオ体験を可能にし、より良い聞こえと豊かな音の世界を実現します。

この新しいAuracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオ機能を新旧デバイスで利用できるようにするには、様々な企業の協力が不可欠です。Auracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオを完全な形で体験するには、以下の異なる3つの要素が必要です。

  • Auracast™受信機(イヤホン、ヘッドホン、補聴器、スピーカーなど)
  • Auracast™送信機(携帯電話、タブレット、PC、テレビ、スタンドアロン型システムに内蔵可能)
  • Auracast™アシスタント(ユーザーが聴きたいAuracast™オーディオストリームの選択に使用)

Auracast™受信機の第一陣は、Bluetooth Classic Audioプロファイルと新しいBluetooth LE Audioプロファイルの両方に対応するデュアルモードデバイスとして、既に登場しています。これは、ユーザーのAuracast™非対応デバイスに対応して互換性があれば、Auracast™対応の新しいイヤホン、ヘッドホン、補聴器などに乗り換える可能性が高くなることを示しています。

個人向けおよび公共の場での用途に向けたAuracast™送信機についても、テレビやAV機器、携帯電話の音声出力に差し込んで使用するスタンドアロン型送信機などを皮切りに、市場に登場し始めています。

Auracast™のスタンドアロン型送信機が増えると、今度は聴きたいAuracast™配信を探し、受信を開始・終了する方法が必要です。そこで、Auracast™受信機のクライアントとして機能するAuracast™アシスタントが求められます。将来的には、このクライアント機能はAuracast™対応のスマートフォン、タブレット、ウォッチ、PCに組み込まれていくことになりますが、この機能が最初から搭載されたデバイスが市場に登場するまでには時間がかかると見られます。とはいえ、それまでの間、補聴器、イヤホン、ヘッドホンのメーカー各社が待つ必要はありません。Auracast™アシスタントの機能は、イヤホン、ヘッドホン、補聴器を、スタンドアロン型Auracast™アプリや既存のスマートフォンと連携するよう設計することで提供できます。

この柔軟性によって、メーカーはすぐにでもAuracast™対応製品の開発ができ、それらが既存、新規および未来の機器とも相互運用性があることに確信を持てます。Auracast™受信機の設計は若干複雑になりますが、Auracast™の新たなオーディオ体験の提供を加速できます。また、特にAuracast™送信機とオーディオアプリケーションで、新たな製品を開発する機会も生まれます。

新しいAuracast™のユースケースは極めて魅力的です。最先端となってこれらの新しいオーディオ体験を市場にもたらす企業は、新たなオーディオアプリケーションの潮流におけるリーダーとなる可能性があるでしょう。

Auracast™ブロードキャストオーディオをより早く市場へ

LE Audio Listening Social

Auracast™受信機のメーカーは、設計に関する主な推奨事項に従い、スタンドアロン型のAuracast™アシスタントを開発することで、Auracast™体験をより早く市場にもたらすことができます。デュアルモードの受信機の場合、メーカーはユニキャスト対応を組み込む前に、最初にAuracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオ機能への対応を検討することが推奨されます。それにより、ユーザーはスマートフォンを新しいものに替える必要なく、すぐにAuracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオの新機能を利用できます。

Auracast™はユーザーにとって全く新しい種類のオーディオ体験を可能にし、その体験は公共の場でのオーディオの楽しみから、個人のオーディオ共有のためのまったく新しいソーシャル音声アプリにまで及びます。これらはすぐにでも実現できるものであり、Auracast™非対応の携帯電話用アプリを使用することで、企業はそれを広く展開できます。

Developing Auracast™ Receivers With an Assistant Application for Legacy Smartphones」(Auracast™非対応スマートフォン向けアシスタントアプリケーションを備えたAuracast™受信機の開発)で取り上げる各種ソリューションは、Bluetooth®︎ LE Audioの必須仕様に基づいています。つまり、既存の製品開発日程の中で、製品への完全なAuracast™体験の実装が可能です。

同資料に記載したアプローチによって、Auracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオの市場投入を加速させることができます。ユーザーにとっては、新しい受信機ですぐにAuracast™ ブロードキャスト オーディオを利用できる可能性が高まります。

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