Microsoft Corp. and Clear Channel Radio have agreed to build a nationwide data delivery service using HD Radio technology, providing personalized and localized content to a variety of HD Radio receivers.
Ibiquity Digital President/CEO Robert Struble told RW Online here at the the Consumer Electronics Show the announcement is “significant” because it marks the first time the HD Radio technology will be used in something other than a purely broadcast approach.
This initiative will be branded MSN Direct HD, an extension of Microsoft Corp.’s existing MSN Direct service. MSN Direct transmits a variety of data information, traffic, weather, movie times, sports and stocks to Smart Watches, weather stations, GPS navigation devices and small home appliances. Ibiquity will support field tests of the data delivery service.
The expansion of MSN Direct to HD Radio is part of Microsoft’s Smart Personal Objects Technology (SPOT) initiative. Beginning immediately, the companies will introduce opportunities for consumer electronics companies and automotive manufacturers to offer MSN Direct content in HD Digital Radio format on their devices in 2008.
Eric Lang, general manager of the SPOT initiative at Microsoft, said Clear Channel had demonstrated its commitment to the aggressive roll-out of HD digital radio, and the new project “will help further extend the MSN Direct-enabled product category and the realization of our vision of making everyday objects smarter through technology.”
Clear Channel Radio is offering HD digital radio primary broadcasts on more than 340 of its stations and two-thirds of those are multicasting their digital channel.
Jeff Littlejohn of Clear Channel Radio said the Microsoft SPOT initiative has illustrated the ability to turn personal objects into mobile tools. “Combining Microsoft’s existing technology and customer service background with Clear Channel’s HD Radio delivery platform will provide customers with a world-class data service.”
Terms of Clear Channel Radio’s relationship with Microsoft were not disclosed.