Australia’s Avega Systems has launched the audiophile grade 802.11-based Oyster Wi-Fi Loudspeaker System. The system offers wireless access to music stored on the home PC or media server, incorporating 802.11 connectivity, surround decoding, audio signal processing and power amplification directly into a speaker.
The speaker system provides users the ease of reduced wiring and wireless access to music stored on the home PC as well as connectivity to CD and DVD players and portables like the iPod.
In-case there is no wireless network in the home, the speakers set up their own network to wirelessly stream audio from a CD or DVD player directly to speakers. The speakers are installed in three easy steps. The graphical Wi-Fi remote provides simple yet powerful control.
The Oyster system is based on standard 802.11 (Wi-Fi) and TCP/IP networking protocols and delivers a true plug-and-play wireless Hi-Fi loudspeaker solution. The speaker range will include floor-standing, bookshelf, center channel and subwoofer options, and will be available for sale by the end of March 2006 via existing audio retailers and online.
Peter Celinski, VP of Product Development said, “Our technology overcomes key technical challenges associated with the networking of loudspeakers based on 802.11 and TCP/IP, including speaker synchronization, reliability of data transmission, lip-sync and interoperability.”
Celinski continued, “The technology is aimed at the networked entertainment device segment of the global consumer electronics (CE) market, currently worth $3.9 billion and expected to grow to $16.1 billion by 2009 in the USA alone, according to InStat research. The Oyster product fills the Wi-Fi speaker niche and will be offered at an astonishing price point given the unprecedented benefits, which the system offers. This really is audiophile audio over Wi-Fi for the masses.”
The company has also launched an audiophile grade 802.11-based wireless audio module for streaming audio directly to speakers. The self-contained module will be offered to traditional loudspeaker companies and PC makers.
Celinski said, “Purchasing decisions of the new generation of consumers are increasingly driven by the ability to access digital media content rather than by brand loyalty. We will seek to leverage the OEM’s distribution channels and at the same time provide them with the opportunity to tap into significant traditional revenue streams currently belonging to the makers of amplifiers and surround processors, with zero risk and little additional development time.”
“The technology will also be offered as a turn-key 802.11 product to the PC makers who are trying to position themselves as key players in the digital home arena. Most currently offer media server PCs or networked audio receiver products and the 802.11-enabled loudspeakers form a natural extension of their product ranges. Currently the consumer is required to purchase a networking solution from one of these vendors and to connect this to a Hi-Fi or AV system from a different source. Vendors can now offer products suitable for the living room and, for the first time, compete with traditional CE companies in areas that are key consumer satisfaction drivers,” maintained Celinski.