It’s a rugby ball of a radio with some great features. It can handle DAB, FM and Streaming (through The Lounge). It will also play music across your home wi-fi.
The interesting thing about it is it’s designed to be a very tactile device – from both the form factor but also how you navigate. It takes inspiration from the iPhone/Touch and allows elements to be selected and scrolled in a now familiar way. It also shares with Apple an app store. They’ll be providing an SDK to allow people to write applications that will sit on the unix-powered device alongside weather, twitter and facebook apps that Pure have written themselves.
The radio side also has another innovation – RadioVis. RadioVis allows radio stations (FM, DAB or internet) to associate their programmes with slides. The radio, using RadioDNS, looks up where it should get these slides from and then connects over the internet to fetch and display them on a QVGA screen. This is a good thing.
It’s good because it allows radio stations to control their own brand and deliver images in a simple way. It also allows them to deliver these things once, in one format. There will be many devices released that support RadioDNS over the coming months – and they’ll all take the same RadioVis picture feed. It looks great.
It’s the kind of thing that you expect to have. We all carry devices with us that have screens that provide information and entertainment, the fact that radio traditionally doesn’t have this content will seem more and more odd. The images that a station provides whether online, in an iPhone app or through RadioVIS is important. It helps define who you are what kind of station you are. And I don’t mean a ‘rock station’. It shows whether you’re the kind of radio station that cares enough about its listeners to provide information about who’s on, what you’re playing, what’s coming up, pictures of guests – that sort of thing.
Our firm, Folder Media, now provides a RadioViS service for many of our client radio stations including Jazz FM and NME Radio as well as our own station, Fun Kids. We’ve also been helping out a couple of other stations to get their pictures up and running as well. In fact, we’re providing a third of the stations currently broadcasting RadioVIS – other stations broadcasting pictures are Global’s Capital, Classic, XFM, Heart, Galaxy and LBC and the three stations from Absolute. It’s been fun, and stressful, finding out how it all works, but we’re now working on providing a range of tools and services to make it even more relevant to listeners.
As I said before, it’s what listeners are going to expect us to deliver.