New Year, New Gear: Radio in 2009

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January is here, and that means that the coolest new toys are going to be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in just a few short days. What better way to kick off our new year than to grab a quick sneak peek at some of the groovy radio toys that are on the horizon?

Today I’ll share something that I have been eagerly awaiting for quite some time: Internet radio available in the dashboard of your auto! While a variety of radio options have existed for listening to Internet Radio in your vehicle this is the first one to provide an in-dash solution.

The folks over at Slippery Brick have a nice little piece about the new toys:

This year’s CES will see Blaupunkt and miRoamer put Internet radio into car dashboards for the first time. According to miRoamer founder and CEO George Parthimos, “miRoamer’s development with Blaupunkt is the first seamless Internet radio solution. With the simple push of a button, users can access AM/FM stations or Internet radio’s thousands of music, entertainment, news and talk stations from around the world, all from the same car stereo.” The first model will connect to a 3G/HSDPA/HSPA device via Bluetooth for Internet connectivity. When connecting to the Internet from an external device (Like an iPhone), the customer’s existing service is the default network. They have various models in the pipeline which may have their own internal modem.

The new devices are the New Jersey 600i and the Hamburg 600i. As best as can be gathered from the sneak preview on Slippery Brick, each one needs to be connected to a smartphone with an unlimited data plan in order to provide access to Internet based stations. I have had a feeling for a while now that smartphones were going to be the initial gateway to Internet radio for the automotive set, and it is nice to be right. On the other hand, it is also very nice to know that models are on the drawing boards already that have internal modems as part of the package.

These units will include navigation, phone, address book, and other extras via  Bluetooth as well as the ability to access thousands of stations. In addition, there will be options that allow you post playlists online to a custom blog.

Photo courtesy of Blaupunkt and miRoamer

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