Livio Radio

In-car tech development may soon speed up as prices "continue to drop" for consumers; radio should take note

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 - 12:00pm

Tesla Model SFor the past few years, the tech world -- much like the Internet radio industry -- has been focused on mobile. From touchscreens to apps to voice command systems, "the hottest tech" has been on our phones, GigaOM writes. "But that may be about to change...our vehicles have a brighter future. The chip industry is betting on automotive in a big way."

As RAIN readers will know, many new cars already offer somewhat easy access to web radio services. Ford, GM, Toyota, Honda, BMW and others all offer in-dash apps for Pandora, iHeartRadio, Slacker, TuneIn and other web radio services.

But development in auto tech may accelerate. Companies like Nvidia, Texas Instruments and others are building new processors for cars to run more apps and offer more functionality on dashboards, GigaOM reports. Such developments are driven in part by "steadily rising" revenue derived from putting new entertainment and connectivity technology into cars.

"In the next year or two we’re going to see cars with services that redefine technology," GigaOM comments.

But connecting to the web may be a problem. Most car systems now rely on smartphones, but others take a different approach. The Tesla Model S (pictured above), for example, connects directly to the web -- no smartphone required. It will also come with TuneIn's web radio directory built in to the dashboard's whopping 17" touchscreen (and also happens to be TuneIn's 200th distribution platform).

Still, such systems -- regardless of how they get online -- run into the same issues of data costs and network capacity. While "the jury is still out" on such issues, GigaOM writes (here), "it's clearly a platform of interest to carriers."

Toyota EntuneCompanies like Livio are looking to make it easier for carmakers to adopt and include web radio technology in dashboards. Livio has just announced it has joined the GENIVI alliance, a Linux-based infotainment platform used by automakers as "a common framework" (more here).

For consumers though, access to such digital connectivity is getting cheaper. "The price of entry continues to drop," writes Jacobs Media president Fred Jacobs. He points (here) to the sub-$18,000 Ford Fiesta (equipped with Sync) and the $27,000 Toyota Tacoma (with Entune, pictured left) as examples.

"The automakers and the after-market manufacturers are looking for ways to make the digital dashboard a cheap, easy entry point." And, as Jacobs has found in his own Techsurveys, "about one-fifth of those who have vehicles equipped with these systems [like Sync and Entune] indicate they are listening to less broadcast radio as a result."

"It all points to the need for broadcast radio to do what it does best – serve local communities with programming and personalities that you just can’t get anywhere else with a great consumer experience."

TuneIn joins Livio's in-car Connect API

Wednesday, June 6, 2012 - 11:20am

Livio ConnectWeb radio aggregator TuneIn and Livio Radio have announced a new partnership that brings TuneIn into Livio's in-car Connect API.

"Livio Connect brings safe smartphone app interaction while driving, starting with Internet radio, mapping apps controls to the built in buttons on your car stereo," Livio explains. It's a "middleware framework protocol that enables hardware devices and mobile apps, now including TuneIn, to connect to and interact with one another."

Livio launched its COnnect API last year. In April is released a website for developers and hardware manufacturers (RAIN coverage here).

Livio Radio's in-car API wins Frost & Sullivan Innovation Award

Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - 12:10pm

Livio Connect APILivio Radio has received the Frost & Sullivan 2012 New Product Innovation Award for the Livio Connect API. The API "is commonsense technology that connects apps to cars, eliminating the nee for constant support and one-on-one integration between consumers' smartphone apps and hardware devices," Livio explains.

The company also said their Connect system will be available at the International CTIA Wireless 2012 in the Automotive Solutions Showcase, which runs May 8-10, in New Orleans.

You can find Livio Radio's press release here.

Livio launches website for developers to use its Livio Connect API

Monday, April 23, 2012 - 12:35pm

Livio Connect APILivio Radio has launched its Livio Connect API website for developers and hardware manufacturers at LivioConnect.com.

Livio launched the Livio Connect API itself last year. It enables apps and hardware devices to communicate and interoperate. This eliminates the need for each app to integrate individually with hardware, and app-specific maintenance and support.

Just as an example, hardware manufacturers can work directly with Livio and include code for Livio Connect in the devices they make. When that device is approved, any Livio Connect-enable app will work with the hardware.

"The Livio Connect protocol is installed on hardware devices to send and receive information about app controls," Livio explains on the new site. "The protocol is also added to third-party apps, allowing them to communicate with enabled devices. The apps receive an unlock key through Livio's authentication server."

Livio also makes branded tabletop Internet radios (for Pandora and NPR), and the Bluetooth Internet Radio Car Kit (which connects smartphone apps to car stereo systems).

RAIN Summit West adds top names from broadcast radio, device manufacturing, web music services

Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 11:40am

Liz AielloRAIN Summit West 2012 will feature not only the biggest names in Internet radio, but also top experts from broadcast radio, device manufacturers and other web services. To highlight this, today we're pleased to announce the addition of Liz Aiello, Jake Sigal and Darryl Ballantyne to the conference's agenda!

Liz Aiello (pictured right) most recently was VP of Programming for Merlin Media LLC, building New York’s first all-news radio station on FM. She's also served as SVP of Broadcast at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, has worked with Howard Stern and spent 17 years with ABC. Aiello will speak as part of the "Innovating the News/Talk Format Online" panel at RAIN Summit West 2012.

Jake SigalRAIN Summits veteran Jake Sigal (pictured left) is Founder and CEO of Livio Radio. Sigal founded Livio Radio in 2008 -- the company offers several devices for tuning in to Internet radio around the house and especially in cars. Sigal will participate in RAIN Summit West's discussion on "The Connected Dashboard."

Darryl BallantyneDarryl Ballantyne (pictured right) is CEO of LyricFind Inc. -- the largest legal, licensed lyrics database in the world, with millions of licensed tracks available and thousands of lyrics sublicensing clients. LyricFind provides lyrics to services like The Echo Nest (more here). Ballantyne will be a panelist for our "It's Who You Know" discussion.

You can find RAIN Summit West's full agenda and list of speakers right here. The Summit takes place Sunday, April 15 in Las Vegas. More details can be found here.

Be sure to register soon! Seats are going fast.

AutoWeek highlights Livio Internet Radio Car Kit

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - 11:00am

Livio Radio's Bluetooth Internet Radio Car KitJust last week we previewed the many ways new cars can stream web radio (more here). But if your car is a little older, are you out of luck?

Not at all, writes Crain's AutoWeek. It highlights Livio Radio's Bluetooth Internet Radio Car Kit as a "simple" way to stream web radio to any car radio.

"It's not magic, of course; it's an FM transmitter," writes AutoWeek. "As with many of these aftermarket devices, you'll hear a bit of static in more populated areas. But after years of listening to the same eight radio stations, you'll be so grateful you won't even care."

You can find AutoWeek's full coverage here.

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