Posts Tagged ‘patent’

HD Radio on the Slate for iPhone?

June 19, 2010

Apple has had quite the back and forth stance in regards to radio integration for their products. While the iPod Nano has its own radio receiver with live pause and iTunes tagging, the various iPhones and other iPods do not. That is something that may be changing soon.

According to Apple Insider it looks like Apple has been quietly visiting the patent office. Neil Hughes reports:

Entitled “Digital Radio Tagging Using an RF Tuner Accessory,” the application states that users could use a handheld device to scan all stations, or only for stations delivering high-quality digital audio content. Collecting a list of digital stations and the accompanying “raw digital data” broadcast with them would allow users to scan and search stations based on the content that is currently playing, or a number of other factors included in the data.

“Enhanced metadata and searching can provide the listener the ability to refine station choices without having to listen at length to any particular station, and further can facilitate tagging broadcast tracks for subsequent access and/or purchase,” the application reads.

Now, this does not seem at first glance to be groundbreaking. After all, the current incarnation of the iPod Nano has similar capabilities on its FM receiver. Still, we are not talking FM in this case; we are talking about HD in all its multi-channel glory, something that has been has been rumored since The Wall Street Journal reported on talks between Apple and HD developer iBiquity.

The filing of this patent goes a long way toward confirming my assertion in prior posts that the iPod line would be adopting HD radio. After all, HD integration was a huge selling point for Microsoft’s Zune and remains an area where it is admittedly superior to its Apple counterparts.

Image: Cave Canum / CC 2.0

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Interactive Mobile: Good Vibes Patented

August 5, 2009

Vibes logo_RGB_72dpiVibes Media has just received a patent for their radio text messaging platform used for interactive mobile campaigns. It’s been a long time coming — six years and 600 million SMS messages long, in fact. Designed for increasing effectiveness and engagement for radio clients, the platform allows radio to enhance its traditional broadcasts with opt-in alerts, SMS-based promotions and mobile coupons that complement the content they broadcast.

Checking out the press release gives us the following two quotes from Vibe and From Emmis Communications:

“Radio’s early adoption of mobile marketing and text messaging is the perfect example of an industry utilizing this new medium to increase consumer interaction and revenue by delivering a higher value to its advertisers,” said Alan Simkowski, Vibes’ VP of Integrated Sales and Marketing and a 21 year veteran of the radio industry. “This patent is an incredible asset that will help protect our partners in the radio industry from companies that offer lesser platforms as something of comparable value.” […]

“As Emmis works to build new and innovative methods of customer engagement, Vibes’ radio messaging platform has proven to be a great tool for growing and optimizing our messaging business,” said Paul Brenner, SVP/CTO, Emmis Communications. “We look forward to working with Vibes to take advantage of the mobile medium as it continues to mature.”

Using dynamic engagement to build listener loyalty is a significant part of radio’s evolution onto the mobile platform. Coupling that with an easy to use web interface on the station’s end provides the ease of use required to let entry level user-stations begin leveraging the platform immediately. Here is a partial screenshot of the interface, kindly provided by the folks at Vibes:

VIBESPlatform Screenshot

Mobile users account for 4 billion people globally, compared to 1.5 billion who own TV sets. According to ABI Research, the mobiles market will be worth $19 billion globally by 2011. Think about that for a moment. Now think about how often most of the mobile users you know use SMS/text messaging as opposed to actually making a call. That alone illustrates the potential reach of campaigns based on this technology.

Bena Roberts of GoMo News, the website of “strategic mobile news,” seems to share my view of this approach:

Radio has huge potential for messaging as more people drive and listen to the radio. I mean  car navigation or iPods are able to send messages or video and are getting more savvy. So the potential for driving SMS traffic or location based radio coupons is HUGE.

Technology — you’ve got to love it!

Logo / Screenshot: Vibes Media, used with permission