Tracey's Technology Blog

Technology news and gadget reviews relating to all of the latest consumer electronics products

16 August 2006

BBC plans to turn MP3 players into digital radios with a plug-in gadget

The BBC is proposing to draw up plans for a plug-in gadget that will turn MP3 players into digital radios.

At present the BBC have not revealed any concrete details about the plug-in gadget or how much it will cost. Nor has a date been announced for when the add-on radio might appear. The BBC Spokesman simply said they hope the plug-in gadget will be available sooner rather than later.

"It's important for us to make sure that people can listen to digital radio on their own terms," said a BBC spokesman.

MP3 players, most significantly Apple iPods have grown in popularity and a study released at the end of June confirmed this, revealing that ownership of MP3 players has doubled since 2003. The study (by market research firm Ipsos) revealed that approximately 20% of Americans over the age of 12 own one of the portable players.

The BBC spokesman said at the moment the broadcaster was carrying out feasibility studies to see how easy it would be to develop and market the clip-on gadget. It was made evident by the BBC spokesman that the plug-in device would not be limited to playing just the BBC digital radio stations. Versions might also be available for mobile phones and cars.

He would not give anything away about potential partners in the project, but dismissed as "pure speculation" that Apple was involved.

Apple's iPod dominates the portable music player market. Many users have a clip-on gadget for it called the iTrip which enables them to listen to their collection of tracks via FM radio. There are also many other gadgets and add-on extras for the iPod and other MP3 players.

Related Articles
BBC plans clip-on digital radio - BBC News Online

Related News at Technorati

Speed-limiter unveiled

A new system using GPS and mapping to identify speed limits in any location, will force vehicles to observe speed limits and slow down.

This government-backed system named the Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) device uses an engine-limiter and has the capacity to retard the throttle to slow the vehicle down until it is at or below the speed limit.

Last week this GPS enabled speed limiter was demonstrated on a motorcycle, and here is how it will work.

When the rider strays over the speed limit they hear two warning beeps. Once the rider reaches 5mph over the limit their seat vibrates. If they still do not slow down, the device retards the throttle to slow the vehicle down to the speed limit.

The speed-limiter was developed at the Motor Industry Research Association with funding from the Department for Transport (DfT). The ISA system can also be used in cars and there is speculation the system is the first step in government plans to force car manufacturers to fit variable limiters.

It is argued that the system could be dangerous as it could hinder drivers when they need to accelerate out of danger. According to the TimesOnline a DfT spokesman said there were no plans to make the device compulsory in the UK (Thank god!!).

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Speed-limiter unveiled -