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Qualcomm Enlists More Licensees For AllPlay

Las Vegas – Qualcomm revealed an expanded list of licensees for its AllPlay wireless-multiroom audio technology and expects the companies to launch products in 2015.

New licensees with U.S. marketing arms are House of Marley, Inkel/Sherwood, Optoma Nuforce, SVS, TP Link and TCL Communications, which markets cellphones and tablets under the Alcatel One Touch brand. They will join Monster, which has introduced AllPlay-based speakers in the U.S.

At the 2014 International CES, Panasonic showed AllPlay-based products and will show them again at this year, but the company said it hasn’t yet finalized U.S. plans.

At International CES, House of Marley will show its first wireless multiroom-audio speaker, which incorporates AllPlay technology. Speaker maker SVS won’t show a product but is targeting fourth-quarter availability.

New AllPlay licenses with no U.S. footprint are Bayan Audio and Goodmans.

AllPlay was developed by Qualcomm to send high-resolution audio around the house via Wi-Fi to active tabletop speakers and stereo systems. It’s positioned as an alternative to proprietary single-brand wireless multizone-audio solutions, enabling consumers to create wireless multiroom-audio systems from multiple brands of products.

AllPlay’s rival is DTS’s Play-Fi platform, which appears in products from Polk, Definitive Technology, DTS’s Phorus brand, and Wren AudioThe Fine Sound Group has also announced plans to offer Play-Fi products. Its brands are McIntosh, Wadia and Sonus Faber. High-end audio brands MartinLogan, Paradigm and Anthem have also licensed the technology

In a related announcement, Qualcomm said KT Music, QQ Music and Tidal will integrate AllPlay into their streaming music offerings, enabling users to select AllPlay speakers for playback right from the music services’ apps. Fourteen other streaming services worldwide have integrated or have committed to integrating AllPlay into their services, Qualcomm said. Streaming-audio platform provider SoundCloud has also announced plans to integrate AllPlay.

Supported services include Rhapsody, Double Twist, Aupeo!, Soma FM, DAR FM, and AllPlay Radio, which is powered by Tune In to stream more than 100,000 radio stations and podcasts from around the world. Qualcomm is also working to include Spotify Connect and other services.

AllPlay delivers up to 10 zones of wireless multizone audio over dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 with 2×2 MIMO. Up to 10 songs at a time can be streamed direct from an Apple or Android mobile device or from a DLNA-enabled computer or NAS drive. The devices’ AllPlay-enabled apps control the selection of computer- and NAS-stored songs. Songs from multiple phones can also be streamed simultaneously to different zones.

AllPlay technology supports lossless 192kHz/24-bit FLAC, WAV and PCM files as well as MP3, AAC and AAC+.

Qualcomm is also developing a firmware update to enable sources connected to an AllPlay speaker via Bluetooth or wire to be streamed to other AllPlay speakers. In the same timeframe, a firmware update will enable two tabletop speakers to be turned into a left-right pair.