Apple’s popular AirPlay technology that allows users to stream music to wireless speakers and zap videos from their iPhone or iPad to their television set is receiving a major upgrade next month.
This upgrade, however, is ditching one of AirPlay’s main components: A wireless connection.
According to a report from The Telegraph, the upgraded AirPlay would allow users to stream music and video from their iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to an AirPlay-ready device without a wireless connection.
Think of it like Apple’s version of Bluetooth that only works with Apple products. Apple has code named the innovation AirPlay Direct.
The upgrade is expected to be announced at the Sept. 12 iPhone 5 event and released via software update later that month.
AirPlay was introduced in 2010 alongside the iPhone 4. Since then, many third-party companies have developed speakers and other accessories that take advantage of it.
Apple has yet to decide which third parties will take advantage of AirPlay Direct, but companies such as iHome and Griffin Technology tend to be on the forefront of these types of announcements.
Higher end speakers like Bose will likely take longer to adapt. Bose’s current speaker designed for the iPhone, iPad and user on the go — the Bose SoundLink — streams music via Bluetooth.
Because future iOS products (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) are ditching their 30-pin connectors, Apple believes that many stereo docks won’t be compatible anymore. By creating a Bluetooth-like way to stream music, Apple can save itself from angry customers who won’t give up their 30-pin devices.
The AirPlay Direct is only one of several announcements that are expected at Apple’s Sept. 12 event.
The biggest of them all is clearly the announcement of the much-anticiapted iPhone 5, which is being called the biggest product upgrade in electronics history.
Apple will also set a release date for iOS 6, the next-generation mobile operating software. That’s when you should expect AirPlay to receive its upgrade.