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Auto Companion to NextRadio App Planned

Emmis sets in-car demo next week

Emmis has said that the NextRadio app will go beyond smartphones. Next week it plans to show what it means.

At the CES convention in Las Vegas the company will offer an in-car demo of a companion app “that visualizes over-the-air FM and HD Radio” in the dashboard. It’s being called a companion app because it can be used either with a smartphone or directly with a car’s enfotainment system, according to Emmis. The app can deliver a synchronized visual element to the car audio system directly, or, paired with a smartphone the app acts as the back channel for an in-dash version of NextRadio, Emmis tells RW.

The demo will be in iBiquity Digital’s new, larger CES booth, Central Hall 8232.

Emmis writes in its latest blog post that TagStation President Paul Brenner and Mark Yarkosky, director of Sprint Product Development, also will update the NAB Radio Technology Committee next week about the NextRadio rollout and discuss milestones.

As applied in smartphones, NextRadio uses a tuner in the phone to let the consumer listen to local FM stations without spending his or her data plan; the headset or speaker wire serves as the receive antenna. The app also enables interactive enhancements when stations participate.

Emmis says there had been approximately 95,000 app downloads as of the holidays, and listeners had tuned to 5,700 FM stations from the app.