Advancements in Bluetooth Technology That Will Change the Game
If you have been using wireless earphones or hearing aids over the last few years, you would have seen that technology has significantly changed what our earbuds are capable of.
Bluetooth means that we can wirelessly stream sound from our devices, such as from an iPhone to our ears through an earbud like an earphone or hearing aid. However, a new age of Bluetooth technology is coming. This is known as LE Audio which has been trademarked as Auracast. Auracast Bluetooth is going to revolutionise the near future of wireless technology in devices such as hearing aids, earphones, and headphones.
Most importantly, Auracast is predicted to allow for greater streaming quality. This will increase sound quality when streaming audio when compared to today’s Bluetooth.
Auracast is also set to reduce battery drain. If you currently have rechargeable hearing aids, you may notice how quickly streaming audio can drain the battery of your hearing aids and phone. This is because hearing aids have very small batteries inside them and streaming through Bluetooth uses this small amount of battery very quickly. Auracast will mean that you should be able to stream audio all day long without having to worry about running out of hearing aid battery.
Auracast will also bring broadcast audio streaming. Current Bluetooth technology does not allow multiple users to share a single audio stream between them. When you use hearing aids, hearing loops or telecoils are used in public venues for venues to feed audio to a hearing aids user from a soundboard. The hearing aid users in the area then switch on their telecoil program to pull the broadcasted audio into their hearing aids. These hearing loops and telecoil systems have many drawbacks as not every person with hearing aids has a telecoil function and many venues do not know what a telecoil or hearing loop is. This system can be costly and there can be physical barriers to installing the systems.
Soon, most hearing aids will have this new Bluetooth technology called Auracast which means venues can transmit information to every person in the venue with this technology. This new technology is predicted to be more cost effective and easier to install in comparison to hearing loops. This means that venues such as airports, sporting events or churches will be able to audio stream sound from the public venue directly to earphones, headphones or hearing aids with Auracast technology. Using a connected smart device, like an iPhone, you would be able to select the audio you want to listen to, similar in the way that you connect to Wi-Fi.
Auracast Bluetooth will allow sound sources such as phones, TVs and sound systems to broadcast audio to an unlimited number of devices like speakers, earbuds and hearing aids. It is predicted that in the next 5-10 years, Auracast Bluetooth is likely to completely take over telecoils and most hearing aids will be sold without telecoils in approximately 10 years. Fortunately, this advancement will likely also make hearing aids smaller in size.
It is likely this new technology will be adopted quickly across many audio markets. This is predicated as recent studies investigated the usage of Auracast broadcast audio. In this study, 75% of all audio device owners (people using headphones, hearing aids, etc.) were interested in one or more features of Auracast.
These advancements in technology have a strong focus on improving the ability to communicate and listen more clearly for all users, not just the hearing impaired. Research has shown that 60% of consumers, particularly those aged 18-44 were interested in hearing personalisation when listening to audio on their devices. This means their device would conduct a hearing test to deliver personalised audio depending on their hearing level.
This research has shown that hearing enhancement is becoming more mainstream in audio devices in the future. These advancements, along with Auracast Bluetooth, will improve our ability to hear and stream audio, regardless of our hearing level. Auracast Bluetooth is predicated to completely revolutionise the future of hearing aid wireless technology.