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free103point9 Newsroom has moved to of March 18, 2010 A blog for radio artists with transmission art news, open calls, microradio news, and discussion of issues about radio art, creative use of radio, and radio technologies. free103point9 announcements are also included here.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Why internet radio in cars is coming sooner than you think

From Oribitcast:
When Audi showed off the Cross Cabriolet Quattro concept car at the Los Angeles Motor Show, one of the key features was a prototype of streaming internet radio direct to the car. It's a glimpse into a future that's not too far away - a future that could come sooner than you think. The system by Bang & Olufsen streams the internet radio channels via a mobile internet connection - the same connection that supplies the Google Maps-powered GPS navigation system.

Of course, this next generation of "radio" has tailored its programming to your specific musical tastes, thanks to the car's occupants accepting or rejecting the music tracks (a la Pandora, or Slacker). So it behaviorally builds a custom-made playlist that is able to adapt to your unique tastes. The "perfect" set of channels, with an endless selection of genres available. Prototypes are one thing, but when will such a system see the light of day?

The answer is 2010, according to the Center For Automotive Research (CAR). CAR conducted supplier interviews that indicate 2010 - which is just over 2 years away - to be when customized and/or on-demand content will be streamed to vehicles. That content could range from personalized internet radio, to streaming video/movies, to localized alerts and updates, not to mention more robust real-time traffic data using two-way communication. Combine this trend with the fact that vehicle-based digital storage systems, like the Ford SYNC and Chrysler MyGIG, will continue to proliferate and drop in price. And suddenly it all starts to come together.

These systems, which are essentially built-in harddrives with interfaces made specifically for on-road use, can cache large amounts of data and make up for any signal drop-outs - creating a seamless experience regardless of where you are. Mobile wireless 3G networks aren't the only way that signal will reach your car (though currently, they could do just fine). If Google has it's way, the 700mhz spectrum that's going up for auction early next year would be "open" to all at wholesale prices. Paving the way for a wireless internet boom as innovative wireless providers, who otherwise couldn't afford to build a national infrastructure themselves, will be able to provide you (and your car) with wireless internet service. This is the future of "radio" (among other things)... and it could come as soon as 2010.

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