Ibiquity has its largest booth ever at CES.
The company is showcasing new iPod-docking radios that include the tagging feature, designed to make it easier for consumers to buy songs from Apple’s iTunes store after they hear it on an HD Radio station. Polk, Sony, JBL and Alpine iPod-docking radios are on display at this show.
Some of the biggest news for the technology developer is the availability of chipsets from Samsung and SiPort that cost less and consume less power. The Samsung chip specifically could be in portable devices in the second half of the year, according to company president/CEO Bob Struble.
“Radio needs to be on devices that people carry,” he told me.
Getting power consumption down to conserve battery life was key; the new chipsets from SiPort and Samsung allow the user a day’s worth of power before needing a charge, he said.
Conditional access demos are in the booth, along with a live example of an HD Radio station played over a cell phone.
One car includes Microsoft Sync, which allows the driver to shuttle between several audio sources, including satellite radio as well as analog AM and FM or MP3 players. Sync will soon work with HD Radio, according to Dave Salemi of Ibiquity.
Ford will use a Unit from Peripheral, an OEM integration device-maker, under the dash to incorporate HD-R into the Sync system; the timing is up to the automaker, although a Peripheral spokesman told me he expected approval by February. Read more about Sync at syncmyride.com.
Perry Priestly also recently left the company. He worked for Scott Stull on international business development. His position will be filled, said a company spokeswoman.
While Ibiquity is upbeat about HD Radio’s progress, engineers here I’ve spoken with are concerned about when and whether the next market tier of stations is ready to convert their facilities to IBOC. Receiver makers are showing steady growth for IBOC and adding new HD Radio receivers; More than 25 booths are showing HD-R products for a total of over 50 HD Radio-related items.
Struble noted in particular the Pioneer, Sony, Dual and Audiovox products are new.