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London, United Kingdom:
The RadioTAG Application Group, consisting of members from BBC Research & Development, Global Radio and Frontier Silicon has won the inaugural TechCon Technical Innovation Award for its recent work on the development of RadioTAG. TechCon celebrates technological developments in the radio industry and the award was presented at its annual conference held in conjunction with the Radio Academy Radio Festival 2011.
As part of the RadioDNS hybrid digital radio specification, RadioTAG enables listeners to interact directly with the station they are enjoying simply by touching a button on their radio receiver. Like other RadioDNS applications, RadioTAG utilises an internet connection to provide a secure two-way communication channel that allows station and time information to be recorded in the form of tags. If the listener chooses they can also associate their radio with a user account and access additional information and content on-line relevant to the tags they have stored.
The applications for RadioTAG are numerous. It can be used simply to provide more information about the song or artist that is playing when the tag button is pressed, it can link to social networking sites or allow a programme to be picked up at the same point later, on BBC iPlayer for example. It allows listeners to interact in real time with the studio, for example to vote for their favourite song to be played. For commercial radio, RadioTAG will give listeners the chance to respond immediately to an advert, which will have a significant impact on the value of radio advertising.
The objective of the RadioTAG project was to develop a prototype system in order to obtain clear audience guidance regarding the potential benefits of the technology and to inform subsequent successful development and application.
“Frontier Silicon is engaged in working with broadcasters and consumer electronics manufacturers in the development of innovative radio technology.” Said Bob Heads, VP of Engineering at Frontier Silicon.“ We were delighted to get the opportunity to work on this project as it will help shape our future development plans in line with the direction being taken by broadcasters.”
In support of the trial, Frontier provided RadioTAG modified Revo Axis radios to the broadcaster for a three week trial with selected listeners from Radio 1, Radio 4 and Radio 5-live. After the trial the participants were surveyed.
Frontier has a long history of working closely not only with radio manufacturers but also with broadcasters and industry technology pioneers such as the RadioDNS Project. “I strongly believe the biggest factor in our success was the collaborative nature of the work” said Andy Buckingham, Team Lead for the RadioTAG Application and Creative Technologist for Global Radio.
Bauer Media’s Head of Broadcast Systems Martyn Humphreys chaired this year’s TechCon. He said: “TechCon is very proud to support some of the most forward thinking of our colleagues and to celebrate the cutting edge developments which shape our industry. The judges were very impressed with the high standard of all the entries, but shortlisted these three because of their potential to really change the game in the radio industry.”
About Frontier Silicon Limited
Frontier Silicon is the world’s leading supplier of integrated circuits and modules for digital audio products. Established in 2001 as a privately funded fabless semiconductor company, Frontier Silicon has over 120 employees. The company is based in London, England, with design centres in Cambridge and Shannon. Frontier Silicon also has branch offices and technical support representation in France, Germany, Hong Kong, China and Japan. Products include complete solutions for digital audio systems including DAB/DAB+, Internet radio and connected audio, from silicon through software to production-ready platform designs.
Customers include Bang & Olufsen, Bose, Bush, Cyrus, Denon, Dual, Gear4, Goodmans, Grundig, harman/kardon, Hitachi, JVC, Magic Box, Ministry of Sound, NAD, Onkyo, Panasonic, Philips, Pinell, Pioneer, PURE, Revo, Roberts, Sanyo, Sharp, SIRIUS XM, Sony, TEAC, Tivoli Audio, Vita Audio and Yamaha.
Frontier Silicon is a trademark or registered trademark of Frontier Silicon Ltd.