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Qualcomm: AllPlay Wireless Multi-Room Audio On The Way

New York – Wireless multiroom speaker systems incorporating Qualcomm’s AllPlay technology are expected to appear in U.S. stores from more than one brand in September, including models from Swiss CE maker Lenco, Qualcomm said.

Lenco hasn’t previously sold into the U.S.

For its part, Panasonic showed AllPlay-equipped speakers at International CES but hasn’t announced ship dates, and Altec Lansing said it plans to offer products as well. Two other companies currently without U.S. distribution demonstrated the technology at International CES along with Lenco and Panasonic.

AllPlay, which uses Wi-Fi and supports high-resolution audio codecs, is promoted as offering advantages over Apple’s AirPlay and DLNA. Qualcomm also positions its solution as an alternative to single-brand proprietary solutions, enabling consumers to buy compatible products from multiple brands. The AllPlay platform provides a “turnkey solution for cross-platform interoperability,” said Gary Brotman, product management director for Qualcomm’s connected experience group.

Lenco’s lineup consists of the the PlayLink 4 and PlayLink 6 and a PlayConnect box to add wireless capability to existing sound systems. For the European market, PlayLink 4 is priced at 199 euro ($146), and the PlayLink 6 is 299 euro ($219). U.S. pricing wasn’t available, nor was pricing on the PlayConnect box.

AllPlay speakers will network with LG TVs incorporating Qualcomm’s related AllJoyn network technology, enabling the TVs to display metadata of songs playing on Lenco speakers, said Brotman.

The Lenco speakers feature Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi direct, Ethernet port and Bluetooth.

With AllPlay systems, Apple or Android mobile devices will be able to stream one or more locally stored songs to one or more speakers at a time. The apps also double as a controller to direct one or more songs at a time from a DLNA-enabled PC or NAS drive to one or more speakers at a time.

AllPlay supports synchronous streaming of music to up to 10 zones.

AllPlay-compatible music-service apps will display an AllPlay icon when they detect AllPlay-enabled speakers and music systems on a Wi-Fi network. From the compatible music-service app, users will then be able to select the speakers to which they want to send Cloud-based music. Music from multiple streaming apps running simultaneously on one mobile device can be directed to different speakers simultaneously.

For streaming services, the ability to incorporate AllPlay support in their native apps offers multiple advantages to consumers, Brotman said. A music-service’s native app offers a richer experience compared to other-brand music-management apps that access multiple services, he explained.