One transmitter, many listeners: Bluetooth goes into broadcast mode

BERLIN: Being able to transmit music or information to multiple listeners at once has many advantages – think radio.

With this in mind, the Bluetooth Special Group (SIG), which is responsible for developing the radio standard of the same name, has now fleshed out its plans for spatially limited audio broadcasts to theoretically any number of headphones or of Bluetooth speakers.

The new function is called Auracast and specifications will be released in the coming months, but it’s hard to estimate when the first smartphones, laptops, TVs and stereos with Auracast functionality will hit the market.

Once the devices arrive, they’ll be able to share their audio wirelessly with nearby Auracast-enabled headphones, speakers, or hearing aids.

The Bluetooth SIG sees the potential of Auracast not only in private environments, but also in public spaces.

The technology could, for example, make audible on earphones what was previously silent, such as the sound of televisions and screens in train stations, airports, gymnasiums, restaurants or waiting rooms.

In addition, audio transmissions or announcements that previously could only be heard over loudspeaker systems could also be received directly with Auracast-enabled Bluetooth headphones, for example at conferences or in the cinema. – dpa

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