It’s only been a few months, but the release of Auracast™ broadcast audio is already having a major impact across the audio market. With the promise of letting users share audio, unmuting silent TVs, and helping everyone hear their best, Auracast™ broadcast audio will enhance how we engage with others and the world around us.
Recently, the International Federation of Hard of Hearing People (IFHOH) published a declaration praising the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) for its work with the European Hearing Instrument Manufactures Association (EHIMA) in creating Auracast™ broadcast audio, “a wireless universal technology…that promises to assist hard of hearing individuals to hear better in venues where hearing aids and cochlear implants are insufficient to function.”
With 61 million establishments globally that could take advantage of Auracast™ broadcast audio, according to ABI Research, this new Bluetooth® capability is projected to provide significant benefits to those with hearing loss. Industry experts anticipate Auracast™ broadcast audio will become the next-generation assistive listening system (ALS), and its ability to function in tandem with existing ALS solutions will enhance accessibility for a wider range of people with hearing loss.
“IFHOH praises the Bluetooth SIG for its work with EHIMA toward creating a wireless universal technology, known as Auracast, that promises to assist hard of hearing individuals to hear better in venues where hearing aids and cochlear implants are insufficient to function.”
– Budapest Declaration, IFHOH World Congress 2022
Assistive Listening Today
For decades, assistive listening systems (ALS), such as hearing loops, FM, and IR , have provided great benefits to people with hearing loss. Telecoils built into hearing devices allow users to access audio within a hearing loop without the need for a separate receiver. This longstanding technology enables hearing aid users to access assistive audio in public locations, such as theaters, train stations, places of worship, and countertop conversations. However, these technologies are not without their challenges, and deployment is primarily driven by regulatory requirements.
Auracast™ broadcast audio has the potential to solve many of these challenges, being highly reliable and flexible while being relatively inexpensive to deploy. A low-impact alternative that benefits a wider range of visitors in public spaces will incentivize venues to install it, bringing greater accessibility to more hearing aid users.
Does that mean Auracast™ broadcast audio will become the new ALS standard?