A technology you are likely to hear lots about in the near future, EI asked the WiSA Association what this new surround sound audio concept is all about.
What is WiSA? How and when was it developed? And by who?
WiSA was started through a joint venture with Silicon Image, the inventor of HDMI, and Summit Wireless Technology in 2013 with a $10M investment. Summit and ten other organisations launched WiSA at CES 2013. Summit developed the technology and the WiSA Association formed the standard for interoperability and market awareness. Since that start over 60 brands have worked to build WiSA into a global standard.
How does the technology actually work?
A proprietary wireless network in the 5Ghz space is created by a transmitter module that connects to receiver modules in speakers. Up to eight channels of 24bit 96kHz audio can be transmitted with 5.2 milliseconds of latency and 1 microsecond of synchronisation between all speakers. The initial connection and set up process is extremely simple. Regardless of the type of WiSA Certified audio transmitter being used, set up typically takes less than 20 minutes.
Who are the leading members of the group? How do manufacturers/companies become a member?
We currently have over 60 brands as members including LG, Xbox, Klipsch, Harman a division of Samsung, B&O, Enclave, Axiim, Foxconn and Hansong.
Brands and manufacturers become members of the Association when an NDA and Membership Agreement are in place. A small membership fee is collected once products that have passed WiSA Certification are going into production.
WiSA Membership gets a brand access to all WiSA Certification requirements, the WiSA Certification test specification, technical support and product development assistance, connection to WiSA member factories and support from our PR and marketing initiatives.
What are the main benefits of the technology for end users and for professional installers?
From the end-user perspective, one of the leading barriers to entry with respect to building an immersive home audio system is installation complexity.
Complicated back panels and the need to run speaker wires around the room are eliminated by the simple connectivity and wireless audio features of WiSA Certified products. There are also significant performance benefits to each speaker being uniquely powered in tuned by the brand.
Professional installers can appreciate the ease of set up and reliability of the systems as well. They can spend less time installing a single system in a home or easily add on a second room in a matter of minutes while packing up the truck from a larger job.
Savant is one of the company’s embracing the technology, watch the video below for more
What plans are the for expansion? Encouraging more companies to get involved?
We are always interested in bringing new members into the association. At this point, our main focus is helping existing WiSA members bring products to market and tell the story of this exciting new category in consumer electronics.
We have seen numerous new products come to market recently and expect many more over the coming months.
Our website traffic has increased tremendously as more and more people are learning about the technology and what it can do to make their home entertainment experiences better.