The future of radio could be on your mobile phone with track and artist details, news headlines, weather and competitions sent to the handset according to a demonstration at the commercial radio industry’s national conference in Melbourne today.
The prototype handset used in the demonstration is called the Lobster and was built by Cambridge-based The Technology partnership (TTP) and features software developed by All In Media (AIM) and various Australian broadcasters allowing users to gain rich content services on the handset streamed directly from the radio station of their choice.
Users would also be able to navigate and store visual content supplied by radio stations using the new ‘Visual DAB/DAB+’ mobile application.
“Australian radio broadcasters are committed to getting digital radio and its exciting multimedia features into mobile phones. By working with TTP and All In Media we’ll now be able to demonstrate some of the exciting possibilities that digital radio is capable of bringing to hand sets when digital radio is officially launched,” said Commercial Radio Australia CEO, Joan Warner.
According to Commercial Radio Australia, building digital radio data services into mobile phones opens up opportunities in the future for a range of interactive services such as competitions, music charts, shopping, voting and user generated content, as well as revenue opportunities through special offers and electronic coupons.
Commercial Radio Australia had taken delivery of a number of the phones and will be seeking meetings with the major telecoms to discuss the opportunities in the near future, while a consumer trial of the service has been planned for 2008.
Digital radio will launch in Australia on 1 January 2009.
“We believe that the launch of visual and download services using broadcast will be an important catalyst for mobile growth worldwide. The mobile broadcast interactive media market is taking off around the world,” said Mobile TV at TTP general manager, Martin Orrell.
AIM managing director, Chris Gould, said: “With the increase in listening to radio via mobile phones, digital radio is a natural feature to offer in handsets. The interactive visual DAB application demonstrates that radio is not just an audio-only platform but can also offer exciting new multimedia features to radio listeners.”