Radioplayer unveils its prototype hybrid player | radioinfo

Radioplayer unveils its prototype hybrid player

Wednesday 07 November, 2018
Radioplayer MD, Michael Hill
It’s the latest move in a series of ambitious partnership projects, aimed at helping car companies and broadcasters deliver a better user-experience in the vehicles of the future, Radioplayer has unveiled the Reference Radio, a prototype touchscreen radio for dashboards, designed to show how smart ‘hybrid’ technology can transform in-car listening.
The hybrid prototype is multiplatform, able to play DAB digital radio, FM, and Internet radio streams, but unlike most modern car radios, the Reference Radio shows a single list of stations across all those platforms.
There’s no need to select different sources like DAB, FM, or Internet first, the driver just taps a station logo to play it, and the system does the rest.
The new technology was demonstrated at an industry event in Berlin, in front of an audience of radio professionals and representatives from car companies using a 7-inch Android touchscreen, the size that’s often seen in modern car dashboards, as the interface.
Safety has been a key factor in the design, reducing driver distraction with an easy, intuitive interface featuring a large display to show what’s playing, and allowing the driver to switch between favourite stations by tapping a logo, swiping the screen, or pressing the buttons on the steering wheel.
In the next phase of development, voice control will be tested, along with podcasts and personalisation.
Managing Director at Radioplayer, Michael Hill, says, “We’ve distilled years of research, development and testing into this prototype, which will be the catalyst for a long-overdue conversation between broadcasters and car companies. The Radioplayer Reference Radio shows that radio can be simple, smart and sexy in the connected cars of the future.”

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Anthony The Koala
7 November 2018 - 3:46pm
The idea of integrating seamless automatic selection between the same radio station on both FM and DAB is not new.

Kenwood Europe sell a receiver with a "Seamless FM-DAB blending" While such radios have been available on the market, the above story extends this to automatic blending of FM, DAB and Internet streams with extensions to voice activated control.

Whether it is the Kenwood radio or the newest development, why aren't AM stations included in the seamless blend? In Australia both AM and FM stations simulcast on DAB. They also have internet streams. So why not have seamless blending amongst the AM, FM, DAB, IP Stream modes? It would make sense if one listens to a Sydney AM station in the country (say) and other modes DAB and IP stream are not available. Then when driving in the city, the radio switches seamlessly between AM, DAB and IP stream to whichever is available and the strongest.

Car safety is very important, especially when wanting to select the radio. It is indeed a hazard if one has to go through a series of joystick maneuvers as some prestige marques when one has to concentrate on the road!

Anthony of exciting Belfield
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