CES: iHome Embraces Apple’s AirPlay

Las Vegas — iHome made it clear at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show that Apple’s new AirPlay wireless media streaming platform has a big future in its audio products. Company representatives took the time to show off the new iW1 wireless speaker system along with two more AirPlay-compatible systems slated for release later this year.

iHome’s new iW1 AirPlay speaker

Apple introduced AirPlay with the launch of iOS 4.2 late in 2010. The protocol lets compatible devices receive audio and video from Macs, iPhones, iPads and the iPod touch over Wi-Fi networks.

The iW1 Speaker System includes a built-in rechargeable batter and charging base, a USB port for iPhone and iPod docking, four built-in speakers, Bongiovi Acoustics Digital Power Station (DPS) technology, and users can stream music wirelessly to multiple rooms at the same with additional iW1 units. iHome plans to ship the iW1 early in 2011.

The company also showed off mockups of two more AirPlay speaker systems in plans to release in time for the holiday shopping season in 2011. The iW2 and iW3 are smaller than the iW1, and will run off of corded power instead of rechargeable batteries.

The iW2 (left) and iW3 (right) mockups

The introduction of AirPlay has companies like iHome excited about the future of wireless media streaming. “Apple has done us a big favor by making a streaming standard,” a company representative told The Mac Observer. “Now we don’t have to deal with proprietary technologies and adapters.”

The company says its current products are the first of may AirPlay-compatible designs.

CES runs from January 6 through January 9 at the Los Vegas Convention Center.