By Harry McCracken | Friday, January 9, 2009 at 5:55 pm
For me, the Consumer Electronics Show’s expansive hall of car electronics is usually by far the show’s least interesting quarters–it’s dominated by loudspeakers, in-car DVD players, and other pretty prosaic stuff. But I’m intrigued by Torian Wireless‘s partnership with Blaupunkt to create what Torian says is the world’s first Internet car radio.
The radio piggybacks on your 3G phone’s Internet connection via Bluetooth and provides access to both Internet stations chosen by Torian for the MiRoamer service and ones you add yourself, if you choose; it also serves as a hands-free calling system. It’s due for release in the second half of this year; the price will be in the $300-$400 range.
I’d want to take the radio for a test spin before forming any firm conclusions about it, and am particularly curious about how seamless the phone-radio connection is. (Me, I leave Bluetooth turned off except when I’m using it; I’d have to remember to switch it back on to make the MiRoamer work.)
Side note: The MiRoamer booth had a large display playing a promotion presentation in a continuous loop. I was confused why it seemed to keep claiming that the radio offered “surpassed sound quality” until I figured out that the video was getting cut off at the edges…