Auracast – Tannoy announcements direct through your hearing aids

Most hearing aid users are familiar with telecoils – those built-in sound systems in theatres and lecture halls that enable you to hear sound at a distance. Well, a new technology platform called Auracast™ may be about to put the telecoil firmly in its place and change how Bluetooth hearing aids and other listening devices connect to wireless audio streams.

Auracast™ enables an audio transmitter, a smartphone, laptop or public address system for example, to broadcast audio to an unlimited number of nearby Bluetooth audio receivers, including hearing aids, cochlear implants and earbuds. The idea is that, with Auracast™, you can access streamed audio without needing a hearing loop cable, which can be expensive to create and maintain and don’t always offer the best sound quality.

An Auracast transmitter will notify your smartphone that streaming audio is available. You’ll then use an Auracast Assistant on a smartphone or tablet to find and select the sound stream and transmit it to your Bluetooth listening device.

The potential benefits are impressive. Imagine having announcements sent directly to your hearing devices at the airport, or being able to hear what’s being said to you in the bank or train station from behind the glass. Auracast™ could even send information to your devices at a museum and do away with the need for a clunky handheld electronic information guide.

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