A new type of radio was unveiled at The Radio Festival by Radioplayer – a single radio unit which brings together all radio platforms.
The hybrid radio prototype has a single user interface and offers listeners the chance to browse radio stations regardless of the method of “transmission”.
Michael Hill, Managing Director of Radioplayer, demonstrated the ‘kitchen radio’ prototype in a debate about the convergence between broadcast radio and the internet.
Radioplayer is already talking to manufacturers about how to take the prototype to the next stage and hopes this will help act as a catalyst for debate and innovation across the radio industry.
The prototype features a simple colour touch-screen interface with large bright station logos acting as ‘presets’; ‘now playing’ information appearing with a tap of the finger and a large canvas available for stations to populate with ‘slide-show’-style visuals.
The radio automatically selects the strongest broadcast signal for each station, switching to an internet stream if the broadcast signal deteriorates. This process is transparent to the user and is powered by ‘RadioDNS’, another industry collaboration which aims to act as the hybrid ‘glue’ between broadcast radio and the Internet.
Radioplayer, the non-profit partnership between the BBC and commercial radio, has already launched a common interface for internet listening via desktop and mobile apps, and hopes to bring Radioplayer to the ‘kitchen radio’ too.
Michael Hill, Managing Director of Radioplayer said: “The future of radio isn’t FM or DAB or Internet – it’s all of them, working together seamlessly. But that doesn’t mean radios have to be complicated. We built this prototype to show that they can be powerful AND simple”.