The world’s first ever voice-controlled hybrid car radio has been launched in the UK. Radioplayer Car was developed by Radioplayer, the not-for-profit collaboration between the BBC and commercial radio, over the course of two years.
Radioplayer Car takes shape of a small box which is professionally fitted behind the dashboard. The box links to the aux input on an existing car radio. It wirelessly connects to the drivers smartphone, held by a
mount. A free app enables the driver to safely control the radio. The ‘smart-radio’ system can switch between DAB, FM or streaming in order to find the strongest signal.
Not only does Radioplayer Car allow the driver to listen to radio, it also enables drivers to Bluetooth their own smartphone music collection. It also allows the user to take hand free calls; listen to incoming text messages; and receive travel updates (customised by driver’s location and direction of travel).
Radioplayer will also automatically upgrade the smart radio, allowing the radio to become smarter and smarter over time.
The radio allows the driver to change station just be saying “Radioplayer” and then naming the desired station.
Although nearly 80% of new cars come with a digital radio pre-installed (RadioToday), the average life span of a car is over ten years. This means that 85% of cars on the road do not have DAB installed. The Radioplayer is an aftermarket solution which avoids the unsightly wiring and many dashboard controls.
Michael Hill, Managing Director of Radioplayer said: “With Radioplayer Car you get the best of both worlds – a powerful multi-platform 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.”
The unit is now retailing at £245.