Considering radio is based on technology discovered decades ago and depends on a static box receiving an unintuitive signal, it’s about time terrestrial radio stepped up their game. Cell phone giants Nokia are developing “Visual Radio”, a new technology that takes an existing FM signal from a radio station and enables that station to add enhancements such as information and pictures. No more who was that? What song was it? Your mobile phone will tell you all the information. Imagine the news with pictures and weather with maps sent to your phone as you listen. Traffic reports, too. Since cell phones operate off radio waves, it makes sense. Kind of like satellite radio for your mobile, but with pictures.
And what will really make this happen? The fact that advertising and special offers can be sent to the the cell phones, as well. Wait until the porn and gambling industries hear about this. What am I saying, they probably have this in full swing.
You can read all about Visual Radio here and see pictures of the phones using the service. There’s also a link for VisualRadio.com, too. They expect the first two mobiles with the technology to be the Nokia 7710 multimedia widescreen smartphone and the Nokia 3230 megapixel smartphone. Both available globally in early 2005. The first Visual Radio-enabled FM radio station so far in KissFM in Finland, so don’t get too excited.