The technical department at NAB drew industry attention this past week to a prototype radio called Olinda.
In its Radio TechCheck newsletter, the NAB told readers about a project that is intended to prompt discussion about the future of radio. It was commissioned by a division of the British Broadcasting Corp.
Notable features of this DAB tuner are a modular design to encourage innovation and development, as well as an emphasis on social networking among listeners.
The social listening module allows a listener to share listening with friends who also are using Olinda radios. “This module has built-in Wi-Fi Internet connectivity and when in range of a Wi-Fi network, accesses a BBC social listening central Web site and downloads information on the six friends that the listener has entered into the Web site database,” the NAB engineers reported.
“When these friends listen to their Olinda radios, the button corresponding to the listening friend lights up … and if the listener presses the lit-up button, the station that the friend is listening to is displayed on the top display and can then be tuned to.”
Intriguing other modules that are being discussed include “volume voting” to communicate an average aggregate listener volume back to the DJ; a feature to track the listening done by a given radio; and push-to-talk.