Google has announced that the Cast technology on which its Chromecast is based will soon be used in speakers. Google Cast for audio will allow users to stream audio services wirelessly to compatible speakers. Users will also be able to control the speakers via a computer or mobile device.
Google Cast for audio will provide users with similar functionality to Sonos. Cast-enabled speakers will connect directly to the internet via a home network and the user will be able to control what services they stream from and play via a computer or mobile device. The recently released Gramafon aims to bring the same functionality to non-Wi-Fi-capable stereo system setups.
What Google Cast for audio offers that Sonos and Gamafon do not is a connected platform used by a variety of different speaker manufacturers. As such, there should be more choice among the speakers available and a potentially greater incentive for audio services to make themselves compatible with the platform.
Google says that Cast-compatible speakers will initially work with Deezer, Google Play Music, iHeartRadio, NPR One, Pandora, Rdio and TuneIn radio, to name a few, with more services being added going forward. Users will be able to control the service via an Android phone or tablet, iOS devices and from the Chrome browser on a Windows, Mac or Chrome OS computer.
The first Google Cast Ready speakers are expected to be available in the US in the first half of this year. Manufacturers will include Sony, LG and HEOS by Denon.
The video below shows Google Cast for audio in action.