Tempow turns your dumb Bluetooth speakers into a connected sound system

Meet Tempow, a French startup that can make your Bluetooth speakers more versatile. The company has been working on a new implementation of the Bluetooth protocol in order to let you play music from your phone on multiple speakers and headphones at once.

Bluetooth speakers have become a common gift and a hit item in consumer electronics stores. Most people now have multiple Bluetooth speakers and headphones at home. While it’s nice that you don’t have to use cables anymore, it can be quite frustrating that you can only play music on one device at a time.

Many manufacturers avoid this issue by relying on Wi-Fi and different protocols, such as Spotify Connect. This is also Sonos’ main selling point. But most speakers are still Bluetooth only.

Tempow is replacing the Bluetooth driver on your phone so that you can send music to multiple Bluetooth devices at once. It works with standard Bluetooth chipsets and all Bluetooth audio devices out there.

It only works on Android as it requires some low-level modifications. As a side note, Apple has developed its own Bluetooth chipset for the AirPods, and the company is probably going to reuse this proprietary chip in all its devices.

After pairing the Bluetooth devices with your phone, you can activate them one by one, enable stereo by differentiating left and right speakers and adjust the volume individually. In other words, it works pretty much like a Sonos system.

Tempow thinks its technology could be valuable for smartphone manufacturers. That’s why the company has been negotiating with them to license its technology.

Other chipset companies have been working on similar stuff. You may have seen that Samsung’s Galaxy S8 lets you play music on two Bluetooth devices at once. Samsung isn’t using Tempow’s technology.

So it clearly means that Tempow is onto something. Let’s see if the startup can sign deals with smartphone makers and ship its technology in the coming months. This could be a lucrative business model as I could see smartphone companies paying a tiny amount of money for each device they sell with Tempow.

The startup is also building a competent team when it comes to all things Bluetooth. As smartphones become the central element of your digital life, Bluetooth is going to be increasingly important in the coming years.