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Wi-Fi Alliance aims to solve multi-room audio conundrum


The Wi-Fi Alliance is aiming to improve coordination between connected products through a new feature and certification programme.

Currently, Wi-Fi and other technologies have problems with synchronising output through multiple connected devices, such as a multi-room speaker system. Companies like speaker manufacturer Sonos [pictured] offer this functionality but at a premium.

The alliance's new TimeSync feature provides "sub-microsecond clock synchronisation", which it said will enable vendors to deliver seamless outputs across multiple devices.

The alliance cited research that said there will be 267 million wireless speakers in the market by 2018 and an average of eight connected devices throughout the home.

As well as wireless speakers and home theatre products, the alliance said the technology, which does not have an exact release date, would also support applications for in the industrial, healthcare, automotive and Internet of Things sectors.

Christian Kim, Senior Analyst, IHS Markit, said: “Increasing demand for today's high-performance wireless audio/video products has made it more important for multiple devices to operate with precision timing.

“Time synchronized Wi-Fi connectivity will help drive the audio/video technology market by enabling unrestricted mobility with high-quality performance.”

Edgar Figueroa, President and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance, said: “Wi-Fi is becoming ubiquitous in an increasing number of device categories as it expands from an internet connectivity tool into a dependable enabler of high-quality, wireless entertainment experiences.

“Wi-Fi TimeSync enables interconnectivity between various rich, media components and also entire systems. This enhanced capability will create an excellent, fully-synchronized media experience with Wi-Fi devices.”