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AwoX Makes Leap To U.S. With Wireless A/V Products

Palo Alto, Calif. — Privately held AwoX, a French software company specializing in DLNA middleware, launched its first wireless consumer products a year ago in Europe and has begun rolling them out in the U.S.

In February, the company began shipping three products in the U.S., all at $99. One is the AwoX StriimLight B-10 LED light bulb with built-in Bluetooth speaker. Another is the StriimLink Wi-Fi- and DLNA-equipped music streamer, which connects via wire to a home hi-fi system to create a multiroom multizone audio system. The third product is the Wi-Fi- and DLNA-equipped StriimStick, which turns an HDMI-equipped TV into a web-browsing Android tablet that downloads apps and streams 1080p video from computers and mobile devices.

The company, founded in 2003, will expand its line in the third quarter to include LED lights with built-in Wi-Fi speaker. Multiple Wi-Fi speakers can be used to create a whole-house multizone-audio and lighting-control system using a computer and iOS and Android mobile devices as sources. Apps on the mobile devices would control music playback and lights throughout the house. The Wi-Fi lights would operate in mono or as left-right pairs.

The Bluetooth and Wi-Fi lights screw into standard medium-base light-bulb sockets, including those in in-ceiling recessed lighting cans. The Wi-Fi versions will incorporate decoders and proprietary technology to synchronize music from room to room.

For its U.S. launch, the company signed up D&H Distributing to distribute its products, and it has begun offering the StriimStick and StriimLight through J&R’s online store, Huppin’s One Call, and Worldwide Stereo. The StriimLink is available through J&R and Worldwide Stereo.

 AwoX, which is a member of the board of the Digital Living Network Alliance, will leverage its expertise in wireless connectivity and its development of white-box products for European telecom operators to offer consumer products based on industry standards that make prices affordable, said Glenn Adler, the company’s Palo Alto-based director of business development and sales for North America. The company is sticking to high-volume wireless standards such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi because of the economies of scale and isn’t interested in lower volume standards such as Z-Wave or ZigBee, he said.

The company designs its own hardware and software and uses Asian contract manufacturers to build finished goods, he said.

The company is targeting brick-and-mortar and online CE retailers for its products. The company is also targeting home centers for the light-speakers and mulling lighting-distribution channels for the speakers. Systems integrators have also expressed an interest in the Bluetooth light-speakers as add-ons to installed multiroom-audio systems, he noted.

In Europe, the company also offers a mini Bluetooth speaker light, Wi-Fi speaker lights that provide color control, and a Bluetooth/Wi-Fi desktop active speaker.

For the U.S., the StriimLight B-10 Bluetooth light-speaker features 10-watt mono speaker, 8-watt LED light that delivers the equivalent of 40 incandescent watts. It comes with IR remote to turn the light on and adjust volume.

The StriimLink music streamer is equipped with Wi-Fi and wired Ethernet to connect to a home network to use computers and smartphones as music sources. It also streams Internet radio stations via vTuner. In turn, StriimLink connects to existing music systems via analog output and digital optical output. From a free Android or iOS app, users push music to one or more streamers from their mobile device, or use the mobile device to select songs stored on a networked DLNA-equipped computer or NAS drive. Computers lacking DLNA connect to the streamers via AwoX’s server software.

 StriimLink also features USB port to play back music on a USB stick or connected USB hard drive. It also features Wi-Fi access point technology so music can be streamed on a peer-to-peer basis.

 The StriimStick connects to any HDMI port on a TV to stream music and 1080p video from Wi-Fi devices, browse the web, and download apps from a third-party Android store, which offers such apps as Netflix, Pandora, Hulu and Vudu. It comes with a gyro-equipped remote to navigate menus, websites, and apps. The device also resizes apps to fit big-screen TVs. It can use a powered USB port on a TV for power.