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NAB Will Create Tech Lab

New Science & Tech head Kevin Gage hopes to ‘push the limits of technology’

Look for the National Association of Broadcasters to take a higher profile in showcasing technology and getting funding for research.

Chief Technology Officer Kevin Gage has won approval from NAB’s board to develop and host a new “NAB Lab.” The mission: “to cultivate and establish thought leaders and push the limits of technology to enhance the broadcast industry.”

The existing NAB FASTROAD program will become part of the NAB Lab. Other details, however, are not yet public. NAB said organizational structure and funding decisions “will be forthcoming.”

Among Gage’s goals: to provide “a platform for innovation, a venue for forging partnerships and testing new technology, as well as an education component to create awareness about over-the-air radio and television technology initiatives.”

Gage came on at NAB in May in a new position as head of the Science & Technology department. Prior, he helped develop the DVD specification and production facilities at Warner Bros. Studios, helped launch the WB Network and was a founding member of the Advanced Television Enhancement Forum. He was head technologist at Warner Music Group and authored two patents on distributing multimedia programs.

Also at the just-concluded NAB board meeting, Rey Mena, co-president of Emmis Interactive, told board members about efforts by iBiquity, Intel, FASTROADS and Emmis Interactive “to create compelling HD Radio on smartphones.”

According to a summary from NAB, Mena discussed “an HD Radio smartphone app in development that will provide enhanced advertising functions, interactivity and emergency alerts.”