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Highlights from the 2013 CES

What's New in Radio

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CES logo (Consumer Electronics Show)

CES logo (Consumer Electronics Show)

Graphic: cesweb.org
The Consumer Electronics Show was held this week in Las Vegas and some tantalizing radio technologies were demonstrated and on display.

FM Chip - Holy Grail of Smartphone Access

Possibly one of the biggest news stories from this year's CES was the announcement by Sprint that it has come to a tentative agreement with the U.S. radio industry to include an FM chip in select smartphones, both Android and Windows based. As it stands, smartphone users can listen to FM by pulling Internet streams through data plans. Putting an FM chip into the smartphone would decrease phone data usage, decrease Internet bandwidth use, and allow smartphone users to directly access local FM signals.

It's a good deal for broadcasters but, what does Sprint get out of it? According to WSJ.com: "Sprint gets a cut of advertising revenue generated through coupon-style advertisements and promotions that will be delivered to Sprint phones through the Nextradio application."

ConsumerReports.org covered the emerging Aha radio, an "aggregator" that offers the user an al la carte menu from over 30,000 radio stations, podcasts, and other information and entertainment streams and sources. Honda and Porsche were showing off Aha radios in cars and ConsumerReports.org writes the Aha radio will soon be available from at least 10 automakers.

Making FM Access Easier

"FM Connect" was on display from Livio. The technology is designed to allow drivers to interact easily and more safely with local FM stations. Cnet.com highlighted the CES display for FM Connect and explained it quite simply:

"For example, if an advertisement for a popular steak house plays over the air, users may be able to tap a button on the radio to initiate Google Navigation or call for a reservation. If a morning show is running a contest for show tickets, the driver may be able to simply tap a button to be entered to win without looking away from the road."

Livio is partnering with content companies and app partners in expanding the network which FM Connect will eventually provide interactivity for.

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