Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Samsung Leads the Way for Radio with Screens

Samsung Galaxy S 5.0 Wi-Fi with built-in DMB and DAB+ is now on sale in Germany and Norway.

DAB has been on air since the 90s. Up to now all the radios for the European market have, with a few exceptions, been rather old-fashioned. They have offered radio and not much more. Absent were the possibilities for advanced functionalities that enable greater interaction with media savvy consumers through visuals and interactivity. Communication with the listeners is key, but radios have up to now not made such dialogue easy.

IDAG (International DMB Advancement Group), an organisation for broadcasters and DMB/DAB+ licence holders has worked closely with Samsung to change this.

The world's leading global electronics consumer brand has just launched a device that enables broadcasters to have greater communication channels with its listeners. The device, Samsung Galaxy 5.0 Wi-Fi combines DAB/DAB+ and DMB with the internet and supports TPEG. It is Android powered, Google approved, has a 5 inch touch screen and comes with two cameras, GPS Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. As TPEG can be supported too, there is a potential of making it a great navigation unit. It is not a phone, but a huge step in the right direction. The name of the toy? Samsung Galaxy 5.0 Wi-Fi with DMB/DAB+. Nice and short.

The best bit is that IDAG has worked closely with Samsung to gain access to the API of the device. The application protocol interface enables developers to control the DMB/DAB+ chipset at the same time as they can simultaneously communicate via the internet.

Established data services such as Slideshow, DLS, DL+, Broadcast Websites, EPG and Journaline all come to life in the first app that has been developed for the device by Syngenio of Germany. So does integration to Facebook and Twitter. Listeners can by the touch of the screen share information on which radio station they are listening to, which track that is playing or even share the slideshow that is on. This integration opens up for radio programs to easier enable and integrate comments and discussions. Not ground-breaking? Well, these services are obvious examples. Any other internet service that you can think of may be added on a layer "on top" of the broadcast. Expect to see betting, gambling, touch screen shopping, personal coupons with ads and much more soon on a tablet near you. Or a phone.

The Samsung mini tablet also handles mobile TV via DMB.
Such phones with the right chipset do already exist. In Korea. How about a Samsung Galaxy III with built-in DMB, DAB and DAB+? I'm quite certain that the first DMB/DAB+ enabled smart phone by a global brand will be on offer in Europe and beyond within 12 months from now. In the meantime, play around with the possibilities and find out what digital radio can do in a multiplatform future to benefit the consumer and keep radio relevant in a digital age.

A shortened version of this article is published in Eureka, the magazine of WorldDMB