Radioplayer Canada has unveiled the Reference Radio, a prototype touchscreen radio for vehicle dashboards, designed to show how smart ‘hybrid’ technology can transform in-car listening.
The hybrid prototype is multiplatform, able to play HD Radio, FM and internet radio streams. Unlike most modern car radios, the Reference Radio shows a single list of stations across all those platforms. There’s no need to select different sources like HD Radio, FM or internet first – the driver just taps a station logo to play it, and the system does the rest.
“Reference Radio represents another major step toward an even better user experience for radio listeners,” said Julie Adam, senior VP, Rogers Radio, and board chair of Radioplayer Canada. “Our collective industry goal is to provide simple, seamless and safe radio listening for the automobile.”
Safety was a focal point during the design – specifically reducing driver distraction – which Radioplayer Canada says has been achieved with the easy to use, intuitive interface. In the next phase of development, voice control will be tested, along with podcasts and personalization.
“We’ve distilled years of research, development and testing into this prototype, which will be the catalyst for a long-overdue conversation between broadcasters and car companies,” said Michael Hill, MD, Radioplayer Worldwide. “The Radioplayer Reference Radio shows that radio can be simple, smart and sexy in the connected cars of the future.”
The Reference Radio was created through years of research and development with partners including HD Radio, Digital Radio UK, RadioDNS and Audi. The prototype shows how broadcasters would like their stations to appear in car radios of the future.
Vehicle companies, equipment manufacturers, and all interested parties are invited to provide their feedback on the prototype. Future versions of the design could be available to companies to adapt for their dashboards, along with feeds of Radioplayer station data to power the experience.
A video demonstration of the UK version of Reference Radio in action can be seen here.