A hybrid in-car radio device has been launched by Radioplayer, complete with voice control.
Radioplayer Car will speak the station name to you and automatically switch between FM, DAB and online reception to stay connected to a particular station whilst driving.
The unit comes as a small box, professionally fitted behind the dashboard, linking to the aux input on an existing car radio. It connects wirelessly to the driver’s smartphone, held in a supplied mount. A free app enables the driver to navigate between stations which have been set as favourites.
The voice control system is woken by saying ‘Radioplayer’, then the name of a favourite station, which will automatically play on DAB, FM or mobile. ‘Wave-to-
wake’, can also be used, by moving a hand near the phone.
Radioplayer Car also enables drivers to 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.
The hardware is manufactured under licence by supplier of car audio interfaces, Connects2. The largest installer of audio products to the retail sector, Hyde Park Corner, are the preferred installer. Customers can arrange for Radioplayer Car to be fitted at a time and a place to suit them.
Radioplayer Car has been in development for two years, with firms like Togglebit, All In Media, Travel For Media, and Furthermore involved in designing and building the software and applications.
Michael Hill, Managing Director of Radioplayer said: “With Radioplayer Car you get the best of both worlds – a powerful multiplatform radio with hundreds of free-to-air channels, that’s safe and simple to operate. It shows what’s possible when the radio industry works together, and we look forward to sharing what we’ve learned with manufacturers, so that all radios can improve.”
RadioToday staff weren’t part of the 40 radio industry beta testers so we can’t offer any further information on how the device works in practice, but the unit is now retailing at £245.