Radioplayer reveals digital adapter for cars

08 Sep 2014  |  Ellen Hammett 
Radioplayer reveals digital adapter for cars

Radioplayer, the online listening platform run by the BBC and commercial radio, has unveiled a prototype car adapter which turns FM radios into DAB receivers.

The service scans DAB, DAB+, FM and internet sources, automatically selecting the best platform to deliver any station. If a signal is lost, it will immediately switch to the same station on another platform without disruption.

With 20% of radio listening currently takeing place in the car, and approximately 27 million UK vehicles still not able to receive DAB radio, the technology hopes to present a solution to one of the "biggest hurdles faced by the radio industry" as it moves towards digital.

Developed in conjunction with automotive audio firm Connects2, the small device, fitted behind the dashboard, is controlled by a dedicated app on the driver's smartphone which, positioned safely in a dashboard cradle, acts as the radio interface.

The listener is able to swipe anywhere on the screen to move through their pre-set stations. A voice identifies each station in a bid to minimise distraction, while a tap anywhere on the screen stops and re-starts the radio.

Drivers can also Bluetooth their own smartphone music, take hands-free calls, listen to inbound text messages and receive instant audio travel news customised by GPS to their location and direction of travel.

Commenting on the prototype, Michael Hill, managing director of Radioplayer, said: "We're proud to be prototyping the next generation of radios, on behalf of the whole industry.

"Simplicity has always been one of the great joys of our medium, and we want to work with chip manufacturers, car companies, and audio firms to re-simplify radio."

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