Posted on: 21 November 2014 by Ross McSweeny
Voxoa has launched a Kickstarter campaign raising funds to launch a device named BTunes, which the company hopes will transform a passenger’s in-flight entertainment (IFE) experience.
BTunes adapts wired headphones using Bluetooth 4.0 to make them wireless. The adaptor is compatible with most premium headphone brands includingBose, Sennheiser, Beats and Marshall,so people don’t have to purchase an expensive new set of wireless headphones to benefit from Bluetooth music streaming technology.When Inflight-Online.com asked Dp Deng, CEO of Voxoa, why wireless Bluetooth headphones would improve the passenger experience, he replied, “It's a pain to have wires in the plane. They are almost always in the way – when you move in and out of your seat, or your neighbour wants to move in and out.”BTunes contains a large battery allowing for up to 10 hours of talk and/or music time, whilst weighing only half an ounce. It can also connect to two devices simultaneously. The product’s Kickstarter page explains, “You can watch video on your tablet while staying connected to your smartphone. When a call comes, the BTunes switches from the tablet to your phone seamlessly. After you finish your phone conversation, it switches back to the tablet.”
But how will the device connect to an in-flight IFE system? Deng says that once the BTunes campaignis successfully funded – the target is $40,000 and at the time of writing Voxoa had raise$3,500 through 63 backers – backers will have the option to purchase “a small Bluetooth transmitter that you can plug into a standard 3.5mm in-flight system” for $25.Voxoa’s BTunes is compatible with the broadest range of devices possible, due to having two high quality stereo audio codecs built in. aptX, the first, is designed to deliver CD-quality audio streaming and is supported by all popular android devices. AAC (advanced audio codec), the second, is by Apple.Finally, BTunes also includes an embedded Near Field Communication (NFC) chip, which makes it easy for the device to pair with NFC enabled smartphones to stream audio. The device, which currently has its patent pending, is inspired by bamboo shoots, because it features two layered design with a small cut out on top.When Inflight-Online.com asked whether Voxoa had taken the product to airlines, Dp Deng said, “We haven't talked with the airline industry yet. We are a young company, it will take time for us to talk with each other.” For now, it’s just a case of waiting until 3 January to see whether Voxoa gets enough backers to take BTunes to the next level.