14 Feb Motorola debuts iRadio for anywhere, anytime music
Scottsdale, Ariz. — Watch out iPod and Sirius Radio; here comes Motorola, said the producers of this year’s DEMO conference
The company introduced a service that will allow users to access Internet radio and music files through cell phones in their cars, computers, or home audio systems.
More than 700 technology industry insiders, media, and investors gathered in Scottsdale on Monday to get a preview of 74 products, never seen in public before they were introduced at the DEMO@15 conference.
One of the first products to be demonstrated at the confab was Motorola’s iRadio service, developed by the company’s Media Solutions Group, started in June 2004, at their Tempe, Arizona location.
“The concept of a connected car is very close at hand. Motorola has tapped pockets of expertise across the company to create an incredible new digital media experience,” said Chris Shipley, DEMO’s conference producer.
The new PC-based software application, using the Windows Media format, provides hundreds of commercial-free radio channels, plus MP3 music collections. They can be be accessed from a cell phone, and wirelessly connected to your car stereo, personal computer, and audio systems.
The service, scheduled to launch in the United States later this year, will work with Motorola’s ES80 cell phone, already available in Asia, and features a Secure Digital card slot that can handle 2-gigabyte cards, a stereo headphone jack and a 1.2 megapixel camera. The phone will sell for approximately $250, depending on carrier service plans, said Mike Gaumond, Motorola vice president and general manager of media solutions.
The service should also work with most of Motorola’s Bluetooth-capable phones.
IRadio will use two-way Bluetooth technology, and a mobile phone to offer listeners continuous entertainment. A user will be able to start playing a song in their car, pause it, and continue listening on their home audio system.
“Digital entertainment should be accessible wherever the consumer wants it. With Motorola iRadio, consumers can enjoy a seamless, personal music experience as they move throughout their day, “said Gaumond.
Motorola is working with car audio manufactuers to incorporate Bluetooth technology into their new products and has developed a $69 after-market Bluetooth device for existing car stereos that it claims can be installed in less than 15 minutes. The phone can synchronize with a PC using a USB cable, then connect wirelessly to a home stereo with an adapter.
The iRadio service is expected to cost $5 to $7 per month, although final details have yet to be announced. The company is in discussions with Internet radio companies that could include players such as Yahoo, AOL, Radio Free Virgin as well as satellite radio providers.