Sennheiser Presents MobileConnect for Live Audio Streams to Smartphones at InfoComm 2016

June 15 2016, 04:10
It was all about evolution of concepts, products and technology for Sennheiser at InfoComm 2016. Among several interesting demonstrations, Sennheiser promoted its MobileConnect assistive listening concept, offering the ability to stream live audio to mobile devices via the MobileConnect App. Sennheiser’s solution consists of a streaming server providing the audio stream over WiFi, which users can connect to via the MobileConnect app on their own smartphone. Applications are unlimited.

Whether it is in a university, theatre, a museum, or a conference center, MobileConnect can be quickly and easily installed and can offer a cost effective way to complement digital signage or offer assistive listening. The solution’s ability to be used for accessibility and interpretation purposes makes it incredibly flexible and from mid-2016 that flexibility will be taken even further. A new “network integration feature” will be added via a software update, which will make it possible to integrate MobileConnect into existing network infrastructures. This will be particularly useful for organizations such as universities which can now cost effectively add assistive listening features to their auditoriums and classrooms. 

As previously unveiled, MobileConnect is truly a breakthrough product. The universal system uses a Wi-Fi connection to stream lip-sync audio content to the user’s smartphone, which has an app that instantly converts it into a mobile receiver. Thanks to its almost latency-free transmission of audio-content, MobileConnect is primarily aimed at assistive listening and audio description applications, but the solution can also be used for simultaneous interpretation.

MobileConnect consists of a streaming server providing the audio stream over WiFi, which users can connect to via the MobileConnect app on their own smartphone. The selected audio data are transferred to the device via the new free of charge MobileConnect multi-channel app, thus enabling users to play the content conveniently through headphones. And the user-friendliness of the system is not just for end users: MobileConnect can be installed in a few easy steps for rapid deployment.
“The start of 2016 will see major changes for MobileConnect. Installations in Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. have demonstrated the enthusiasm our customers have for this product, and shown that we can go even further,” says Xenios C. Maroudas, Portfolio Manager, Business Communication, Sennheiser.

Launched in February 2016, Sennheiser’s new MobileConnect app version takes the immediacy and functionality of the service to new levels. Users can now access the Personal Hearing Assistant straight from the channel screen, and the user interface of the Personal Hearing Assistant has been optimized for even greater user-friendliness. The MobileConnect app interface is now available in German, English, French and Spanish. 

“With MobileConnect we gave our customers an innovative real time streaming-based technology that was built around the “bring your own device” ethos,” explains Xenios Maroudas. “This solution lets end users easily receive audio content on a device they already know. It’s as easy as downloading the free MobileConnect app to their smartphone. At the same time, event organizers are no longer faced with the cost of providing, renting and maintaining the audio devices.” But cost-efficient application is not the only feature that makes MobileConnect interesting for integrators, companies or event organizers: "Additional features such as assistive listening in theaters, the provision of an audio track for silent screens in airport waiting lounges or simultaneous interpreting for public performances mean that MobileConnect enables our customers to upgrade and expand their range of possibilities”, Maroudas adds. 

Furthermore, MobileConnect can even be used in situations in which audio transmission has until now been impossible or only very limited. Sennheiser’s MobileConnect has already seen two years of successfully deployment since its initial pilot projects in 2014. It has been installed in several theaters such as Deutsches Schauspielhaus or the Ernst Deutsch Theater, both in Hamburg, Germany. Alongside these, audio specialist Sennheiser also launched the CinemaConnect app, which works on the same technical principals as MobileConnect but is designed for use in cinemas. CinemaConnect provides audio description and assistive listening in cinemas, thus offering inclusive solutions for visual or hearing impairment. The CinemaConnect solution has been in use in the Abaton cinema in Hamburg, Germany since May 2014.

The free MobileConnect app is available for iOS devices (version 1.1.0 on iOS 7 or later) and Android devices (version 0.9 on Android 4.4.1 or later), and can be downloaded from the respective app stores.
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