Auracast™ broadcast audio is a new Bluetooth® capability that enables an audio transmitter (smartphone, laptop, TV, public address or sound system, etc.) to broadcast audio to an unlimited number of receivers (headphones, earbuds, hearing aids, etc.). This life-changing innovation is already making major impacts across the industry.

This month, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), in collaboration with a number of Bluetooth SIG member companies (Actions, Airoha, Intel, Nordic, NXP, Qualcomm, Realtek, Telink, TPV, and Xiaomi), hosted The Auracast™ Experience at Tech G and CEATEC. This global roadshow provides attendees the opportunity to experience a day in the life with Auracast™ broadcast audio firsthand in simulated real-world environments.

The Auracast™ Experience

Like similar events at Mobile World Congress and Computex Taipei, The Auracast™ Experience at Tech G and CEATEC gave attendees an opportunity to hear for themselves how Auracast™ broadcast audio will help the world sound better. 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 multiple sample environments. In the future, we will all be able to seamlessly use our own devices to experience Auracast™ broadcast audio.

Pretending they were leaving on a trip to a conference, taking a flight and arriving at their destination in time for a keynote presentation that night, visitors were able to partake in simulated environments that helped illustrate how Auracast™ broadcast audio will enhance their lives.

TAE 6

Unmuting Silent TVs in an Airport Bar

Having arrived early at the airport, attendees at The Auracast™ Experience were invited to visit a simulated sports bar near their terminal to watch the game. One of the ways Auracast™ broadcast audio will be used is to unmute the audio from silent TVs in public locations like gymnasiums, waiting rooms, transit centers, sports bars, etc.

As is often the case, this bar had multiple TVs showing different games, all with the sound turned off. Fortunately, this bar had added Auracast™ broadcast audio to their TVs, so visitors were able to choose to hear the audio from any TV they wanted using their Bluetooth® earbuds or hearing device. They were even able to switch the audio between different TVs at any time.

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Watching a Movie on a Laptop With a Friend at the Airport Gate

After leaving the bar, attendees headed over to their gate to await departure. While there, they were able to use Auracast™ broadcast audio to hear the sound of a movie being played on a friend’s laptop. Since the laptop supports Auracast™ broadcast audio, with the owner’s permission (and a passkey), visitors could use their Auracast™ enabled earbuds to tune into the audio being played and watch the movie with their friend.

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This Auracast™ broadcast audio feature opens exciting possibilities, not only for travel but for any shared entertainment experience. We have all been in situations where we are using our earbuds to listen to music on our smartphone or watch a movie on our laptop, and we want someone we are with to hear what we’re hearing without having to let them use one of our own earbuds. Fortunately, smartphones, tablets, and laptops will soon support Auracast™ broadcast audio, and we will be able to let others around us use their own Bluetooth® earbuds to join in and listen to a shared personal audio experience.

Eventually, devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets will include support for Auracast™ broadcast audio built inside. However, in the short term, a dongle can be plugged into any of these existing devices with a compatible port to transform them into Auracast™ transmitters. Some dongles and adapters are already being developed for commercial sound systems so public venues can turn their location into an Auracast™ location using their existing sound system.

Hearing Gate Announcements in the Airport

While still at their gate, attendees were able to tune into the terminal’s public address system and hear gate changes and boarding announcements right on their Auracast™ enabled earbuds.

We all know what it is like to be waiting at the gate in a loud terminal, and it is hard to hear the boarding announcements from the gate agent. Soon, airport sound systems will support Auracast™ broadcast audio, so passengers can choose to hear the gate announcements using their Bluetooth® earbuds. Even while watching a movie or listening to music, passengers will be able to receive gate notifications so long as they are subscribed to multiple broadcasts at the same time.

Listening to a Lecture in an Auditorium

Having arrived at their destination, visitors are now at the conference, attending the opening keynote session. Unfortunately, by the time they arrived, the only seats left were at the back of the auditorium where it is sometimes hard to hear. However, since this venue added Auracast™ broadcast audio to their sound system, attendees were able to select the broadcast coming out of the system and hear it directly from their Auracast™ enabled earbuds.

This same capability will soon be available in hearing devices, showcasing how Auracast™ broadcast audio, once broadly deployed in public locations to support assistive listening, will help promote better living through better hearing for everyone.  

Learn more about Auracast™ broadcast audio.

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