Tempow, a French startup, has created technology that allows you to stream audio to multiple Bluetooth speakers. Tempow promotes it as a wireless splitter for listening to music and watching TV, but the applications of the technology are wide-ranging.
The basic tech is software running on a smartphone (tablets, PCs and televisions are in the future as well) that allows the device to send audio to any number of available Bluetooth devices rather than just one. The company’s initial use case is the ability to turn several Bluetooth speakers into a larger audio system. Other use cases could allow consumers wearing different pairs of Bluetooth headsets to stream a TV program in two different languages if the TV program supported it.
I met two engineers from Tempow at Bluetooth World last week, and was excited by the possibilities.
For example, a tour guide could stream their commentary to everyones’ Bluetooth headsets in a museum (in the appropriate language). In education, students who are hard of hearing or require a translation could get the information streamed directly to their headset.
The base technology doesn’t address things like translation. All it does is let the device stream to multiple speakers. But companies can add such features on top of Tempow’s tech if it becomes popular.
An immediate challenge for the company is that the software doesn’t work on iOS devices because Apple doesn’t let just anyone have access to the Bluetooth radio on its handsets and tablets.
A future challenge is that the company might become a victim of its own success. Its technology sits on top of the existing Bluetooth radio standard. At some point, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group might see the value and appropriate the tech into the standard (or find another way to accomplish a similar goal). Should that happen, and if Tempow doesn’t have a huge base of manufacturers already using the tech, it could lose out.
Still, I like the way the team of 10 is thinking, and love the options such an advancement on Bluetooth offers.