Kickstarter Find: auris skye, a 30-pin AirPlay adapter

Sections: iDevice Accessories, iPad, iPad mini, iPhone, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod touch

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AppleTell last looked at auris when their original Bluetooth receiver launched in the store earlier this year. auris is back, still sans wires, but this time they’re on a whole new wavelength: AirPlay. The auris skye is a WiFi adapter that instantly converts any 30-pin Dock accessory (like a speaker) into an AirPlay receiver.

auris skye

With Apple’s move to the Lightning connector, millions of Dock-enabled speakers face obsolescence. But plug in an auris skye, and your speakers are suddenly cutting edge.

Do You Speak My Language?

Apple faced a difficult choice recently: continue to use a connector that, though popular, was also a serious limitation to their device designs, or move to a new one and render hundreds of millions of iOS devices and probably billions of accessories obsolete. Luckily, between Bluetooth and AirPlay, Dock-enabled speakers can continue working without the need for a physical connection. They just need a little help.

Enter the auris skye. Like its Bluetooth cousin, it acts as a wireless receiver for your Dock-enabled device.

auris skye

Since the skye uses WiFi, however, it’s actually sporting better features. First and foremost is sound quality: AirPlay uses Apple Lossless to compress music for streaming, so it delivers a much higher quality sound experience than Bluetooth. AirPlay advertises itself on the network automatically, so you never have to go through a pairing process, and WiFi has a much greater range than Bluetooth.

Insert skye [here]

The auris skye plugs into the Dock connector of whatever device you want to use and pulls its power from there. Virtually any speaker or other accessory that uses Apple’s old 30-pin interface can act as a wireless AirPlay receiver once the auris skye is attached. You can also use auris’ optional 3.5mm + USB cable, which lets you turn any audio output source into an AirPlay receiver. You simply connect the Y-shaped cable to the skye, a powered USB port, and the aux-in jack of your speakers.

Pledge Early

The auris skye has already exceeded its initial funding goal, but there are still several pledge levels open and some Kicktarter-exclusive skye models you can get in on. The pledge rewards include:

  • $69: Early backer special, gets you one auris skye in your choice of piano black or arctic white.
  • $79: You get a skye in the Kickstarter-exclusive Titanium finish.
  • $499 (there’s literally nothing between 80 and 500 bucks, so you really have to be crazy about this): Beta tester, gets you an auris skye right away for beta testing purposes, and a production skye in your choice of color when they’re generally available.

auris skye

If you’ve got an old Dock-enabled speaker lying around and want to give it a new lease on life, the auris skye could be just the ticket. You could even use a standalone dock that has an aux-out cable to add AirPlay functionality to a home theater or other source!

Head over to the auris skye Kickstarter page for full details.

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