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IBiquity Focuses on Navigation

KRI armband portable is the smallest HD Radio receiver to date 

IBiquity’s booth was big, 40×50 and complete with HD Radio receivers in a Volvo and Hyundai, showing that the technology is now available in both low- and high-end cars. It showed four navigation devices incorporating HD Radio; two had the radio integrated into the screen, one fit into a cradle and another with a cigarette lighter adapter.

Manufacturers of the navvy devices included Dual, KRI and KRS; however the latter two are the not brands that will sell the devices, I’m told.

The KRI armband portable HD Radio receiver on display is the smallest device that an IBOC chip is integrated in so far. The antenna is in the headset cord.

Bob Struble told me close to 100 HD Radios are being offered now. He predicts portables would be out later this year now that smaller and lower-power Samsung and SiPort HD Radio chips are being marketed to module and receiver manufacturers.

One of iBiquity’s challenges in 2009 is getting broadcasters to promote their multicast channels, especially now that “radio is in free fall” due to the economic downturn, he told me.

IBiquity sponsored a reception for the Stevie Wonder Foundation and his Sendero Group, which honored iBiquity, Dice, the IAAIS, NDS and NPR for the Dice radio reading service receiver.

Some 50 of us were in the room as Wonder said he hopes manufacturers will make all devices accessible and read aloud from a new song that he will debut at the inaugural, saying: “Fear can’t put dreams to sleep.”