CSR is looking to make it easier for device manufacturers to deliver multi-room networked home audio products with the launch of the VibeHub platform, unveiled at CES 2014. The platform will enable consumers to enjoy synchronised multi-room audio around the home using its SyncLock technology which enables products to take content from any local or cloud-based source and create a multi-room audio experience over an existing home Wi-Fi network.
The VibeHub platform gives developers a way to create whole home audio systems that are quick and easy to bring to market. The technology can be easily integrated and gives developers more flexibility to differentiate their designs and determine the end-user experience.
The fully featured VibeHub platform can be used to build wireless speakers, intelligent audio adaptors, networked audio amplifiers and a wide range of other consumer audio products. These devices can simultaneously pull content from multiple sources including digital media servers, Internet radio or cloud services and distribute around the home autonomously. VibeHub’s extensible networking capabilities enable interoperability with a wide range of today’s popular wireless streaming protocols, including Apple’s AirPlay, which means that consumers aren’t limited to buying into a specific ecosystem.
The platform’s Bluetooth capabilities enable consumers to stream audio from a wide range of mobile devices, making it easier to share music over the home network to any room without the Bluetooth audio source device having to join the home Wi-Fi network.
“Consumers want networked audio products that accommodate any input and music source they want to use, and allow them to listen to different content in different rooms without any effort,” says Anthony Murray, Senior Vice President, Business Group at CSR. “Building on CSR’s strong audio heritage, we have developed a flexible platform that enables manufacturers to offer consumers cost-effective whole home audio systems that ‘just work’ – giving them the experience they desire.”
Among the platform’s key features are:
It”s access point agnostic: VibeHub does not rely on special features in a home’s access point so there is no need for end users to purchase additional equipment
Offer extensive connectivity functionality: The SyncLock technology inside VibeHub enabled products allows for more connectivity options than any other solution on the market, including Bluetooth, Bluetooth Smart, 802.11n, Ethernet, SPDIF as well as analogue jacks
Is interoperable with a wide range of devices: Common music sources including Windows PC, Android, as well as Apple iOS and OSX devices are interoperable. The system allows bridging into a network via existing protocols which lowers the cost of entry for the consumer as they can use existing music sources in the home
Consumer experience: The VibeHub takes advantage of CSR aptX coding technologies for high-quality audio over a Bluetooth connection and a higher bitrate version with forward error correction (FEC) for IP networks. This high quality IP network variant is supported by SyncLock technology, which has been developed for broadcast Audio Over IP applications. SyncLock distributes audio over the network and enables tight synchronisation between speakers, meaning there is no noticeable time-lapse experienced by listeners in different rooms. The system can also support multi-user scenarios, giving users the option to listen to different music in different rooms, from a variety of different sources
Provides intuitive system control: CSR has developed Android and iOS apps to control the system which can be easily reskinned by end brands to fit with their look and feel. Many controllers can be used concurrently, enabling a true multi-user, multi-room audio experience.