Apple's new friend is BridgeCo, a software company with a platform it embeds inside stereo equipment which make it possible to stream music wirelessly beween devices. BridgeCo's system comprises both hardware and software elements
"Apple are great to work with," CEO, Gene Sheridan says. "Smart, aggressive people, when they set their minds to something they move quickly, which is very rare in such a large organization."
The company has been working with Apple for the past ten years, mostly with regards to iPod docking products. One year ago Apple decided to get into enabling home audio networks and has been working with BridgeCo to develop the AirPlay technology.
BridgeCo's JukeBlox connectivity platform includes an optimized network audio processor, WiFi network modules, and the JukeBlox 2.1 software.
The software enables music streaming and networking, is "very comprehensive", set-up is automatic, it supports services such as Pandora and Rhapsody, and it can also access 12,000 Internet radio stations.
Harmon-Kardon, Denon, Sony, Nokia, Phillips, Pioneer and others already use BridgeCo technology.
"We have the only SDK for streaming music in the industry," says Sheridan. "We're the only independent company with a true SDK which we make available to OEMs and developers so they can customize it."
Audio manufacturers who are interested in using AirPlay must arrange licensing with Apple similar to how its 'Made For iPod' program works.
It's estimated the value of this new AirPlay industry could be about $15 billion.