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Some See Radio as a Useful ‘Beachhead’ to Home Networking

Not many news stories portray radio as the next big thing.

Not many news stories portray radio as the next big thing.

A small business column in Fortune this week, carried by CNN, describes radios as “the all-time greatest sleeper of a tech trend” and provides some insight into how this “old medium” is seen by some as part of the “new media” revolution.

“We’re not talking iPod-like portable thingies, but big, expensive desktop radios,” writes Jonathan Blum. “Mark my words, they’ll be downright cool in the coming year. Best of all, charting this new radio frontier is a fleet of innovative small businesses.”

He cites a new generation of desktop radios shown at the 2008 International Consumer Electronics Show from companies like Tivoli Audio, Bose Corp. and Cambridge Sound Works.

Blum writes that big new table radios “benefit from a new generation of ubiquitous, low-cost home wireless standards.

“Until recently, wireless audio in the home was strictly limited to pricey, high-end systems such as the Sonos – but that’s changing,” Blum reported.

“Apple’s new Leopard operating system supports the Bluetooth streaming media format, which allows for transmission of content over any enabled device. Meanwhile, everyone from Intel to the USB consortia is expecting the new Windows Home Server to create a new generation of wirelessly enabled — so-called ‘casually connected’ — audio devices for the home.”

He quotes the president of Parrot, showing a Bluetooth-enabled wireless radio, as calling desktop radios “an early beachhead in the home networking wars. Home networking has been difficult to explain to the market. So the radio is seen as a form factor that the market can understand.”

The full article is here.