Radio in Three Dimensions

3d Radio

Yesterday the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) saw the debut of 3D Radio, a revolutionary new twist on how people listen to radio. One which Humphrey Cheung at TG Daily compares quite aptly with TiVo.

What is 3D Radio, how is it like TiVo, and why is it such a step forward? This selection from their press release sums it up nicely:

3D Radio’s patented 3DR technology continuously records several radio stations simultaneously, including the station the user is listening to, which 3D Radio plays back as it records.

Users are able to pause, rewind, skip forward, save and replay radio across multiple stations on any radio source – AM/FM, HD, satellite, Wi-Fi, Wi-Max and 700 MHz. It is available for in-vehicle, handheld mobile and home use.

One of the big arguments made by detractors is that you cannot time shift radio programming and listen to the content you want when you want to hear it. 3D Radio looks like a solid answer to that argument. Their slogan is “Your Radio, Your Way, Every Time.”

The array of features listed on the company’s website looks more like something one would see on promotional materials for an MP3 player than a classic radio:

  • Repeat: Jump back a few seconds and listen to something again.
  • Play What I Missed: After changing to one of the preset stations or to the previous station, skip back to hear what was playing before you started listening to the station.
  • Pause and Resume: Pause your current radio station while you are doing something else, and then return to the exact place where you paused to resume playback.
  • Skip Forward: If you have previously paused or skipped backwards, you can skip forward, perhaps to skip over a commercial or a song you don’t like.
  • Turn-On/Skip-Back: 3D Radio continuously monitors all your favorite stations, even when it is turned off. So, turn it on, check your favorite stations, and jump back to hear the start of your favorite song. Or, skip back even further, and give yourself lots of commercial-free listening.
  • Rewind or Fast-Forward: Play back the audio at a higher speed, either in reverse or forward, with frequency compensation.
  • Cueing: Play back, forward or reverse, at a slow speed to find the start or end of a particular song.
  • Scan: Play a few seconds of each available station in sequence. When you hear something you like, you can rewind to hear what you just missed.

Another leap forward is the device’s ability to make radio station recommendations when you are in an unfamiliar area. It scans local broadcasters until it finds content that is similar to your tastes and preferences.

The Radio2020 Blog will be featuring a variety of the new CES offerings over the next several days as the new cutting edge of the radio industry is made public.

photo courtesy 3D Radio LLC


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