In November, at the annual Radio Festival in Manchester, we demonstrated a prototype 'concept radio' interface we've been working on. We now have a short video of the radio in action, which you can watch here.
It's another example of collaboration across the industry - the 'RadioDNS' station-switching code was written by the brilliant 'creative technology' team at Global, the guys at Absolute helped with the design of the interface, and the folks at TUI Interactive made it all work together.
Here are some details, along with some shots of the prototype working. We're already talking to leading manufacturers about how to take the prototype to the next stage and we hope 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”.