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Apple rumored to unveil Wi-Fi free version of AirPlay at Sept. 12 event

A report on Tuesday claims inside knowledge of a new AirPlay feature Apple will allegedly introduce at its widely rumored Sept. 12 special event, with the new technology allowing users to stream audio directly to HiFi units or speakers without a Wi-Fi network.

According to people familiar with Apple's plans, the so-called AirPlay Direct tech will require only an iDevice and compatible audio equipment for music streaming, doing away with the feature's current need of a Wi-Fi network, reports the Telegraph.

While details are scarce, including the name which is still a "working title," it is thought that AirPlay Direct will create an ad hoc connection with supporting audio units. Technically, this solution would still require Wi-Fi functionality from both devices, however the need for a connected network would be negated.

It is unclear whether the rumored tech will be audio only and still carry the AirPlay moniker, as Apple previously called the media sharing service AirTunes when it only supported music.

Apple's AirPlay is a proprietary wireless sharing protocol based on RTSP technology that allows for the streaming of audio and video using the company's own encoding tools. First introduced in 2010 as an augmentation to AirTunes, AirPlay is able to stream audio and video content wirelessly to a number of supported devices like stereos, receivers and the Apple TV.

According to the sources, Apple will debut AirPlay Direct alongside a next-generation iPhone at an as-yet-unannounced special event on Sept. 12.