Lily Katz / Android Authority
🌞 Good morning! A solar electric car launch happens today: Dutch company, Lightyear, is showing off its “first production-ready solar car,” on YouTube about six hours after this newsletter goes out… and I won’t spoil the MSRP, but it’s not cheap
Bluetooth invents radio?
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group has announced a new audio tech it’s calling Auracast, for wider audio sharing and broadcasting.
Why it matters:
- Auracast was previously called Audio Sharing, which let someone send audio to more than one person/device at once.
- The new Auracast name signifies the next step, which is that it will allow users to broadcast audio to “an unlimited number of nearby Bluetooth audio receivers.”
- That’s going to make a massive difference in certain scenarios: think everyone at a conference listening to a talk via headphones from the one Bluetooth audio connection, or a TV in a busy public space, or at a gym, etc.
- All those times when you can’t quite hear something, this will change. In theory.
- The idea is you join a broadcast just like you join a Wi-Fi network.
- It’ll launch via Bluetooth LE Audio.
- It’ll also be good for people with hearing loss — potentially making it easier for people with hearing assistive devices to listen to broadcasts and so on.
- “The launch of Auracast broadcast audio will trigger another massive change in the wireless audio market,” said Mark Powell, CEO of Bluetooth SIG. “The ability to broadcast and share audio using Bluetooth technology will reshape personal audio and enable public venues and spaces to deliver audio experiences that will improve visitor satisfaction and increase accessibility.”
- It wasn’t clear from the press release if Auracast will come to existing devices (in receive-mode only?) or only with new devices with appropriate updates to the physical chipset.
- A spokesperson from Bluetooth SIG told a few publications that you’ll need a device with the spec, and that consumer products with support will come “quickly” but also “towards the end of the year and the holiday season.”
- But, and this is unconfirmed, it looks like it’ll work with Bluetooth 5.2, which was released in January 2020 and has many compatible devices now.
- So, it’s a bit unclear.
- Also: the Auracast homepage is not at all helpful, saying “Bluetooth SIG will soon publish an implementation guide.” Why announce it without all the docs being ready?
- That said, Google, Xiaomi, and the Hearing Loss Association of America said they’d support Auracast.
- As for public locations that want to broadcast, they’ll need to deploy Auracast broadcast audio and register “in a searchable, public database of locations.”
- So, yes, Bluetooth SIG has invented public radio broadcasts, but with better tech?
- Still, quite a few steps to go.
📅 The new Galaxy foldables and Galaxy Watch 5 series might launch on August 10, if you trust the leaks… (Android Authority).
🔜 Poco F4 is coming soon: Same processor as the Poco F3, and likely to again be based on the China-only Redmi K series, in this case the K40s (Android Authority).
📺 Rumor: Netflix could be in talks to buy Roku, with a big slip-up that Roku reportedly closed the trading window for employees to sell their stock, in a sign something is up… (Android Authority).
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
Another great true throwback this week: on June 11th, 1997, the first camera phone photo was taken and shared around. The key is sharing: other phones had camera sensors, but this was the first time anyone snapped a pic and instantly sent it off to a list of friends and family members, via IEEE Spectrum.
- And it’s extra cute because it was for the birth of a newborn daughter, and it’s a great story about necessity driving innovation.
- [In 1997], at the Sutter Maternity Center in Santa Cruz, Calif., while his wife was in labor, Philippe Kahn hacked together a Motorola StarTAC flip phone, a Casio QV digital camera that took 320 by 240 pixel images, and a Toshiba 430CDT laptop computer. When he took a picture with the camera, the system would automatically dial up his Web server and upload the picture to it at 1200 baud. The server would send email alerts to a list of friends and family, who could then log on and view the photo.
- “I had always wanted to have this all working in time to share my daughter’s birth photo,” Kahn recalls, “but I wasn’t sure I was going to make it.”
- Thanks to his wife spending 18 hours in labor at the local maternity center, he had a little time to build the prototype. He realized he had most of what he needed … For the rest of what he needed, he asked an assistant to make a run to Radio Shack and drop off the additional gear at the hospital.
- “It’s always the case that if it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would ever get done,” Kahn says.
Tristan Rayner, Senior Editor.