As Orson Welles used to say in those Gallo wine commercials, some things are worth waiting for: WiFi radio, for example. Two UK companies -- Gloucestershire-based Acoustic Energy and Cambridge-based Reciva -- have now come up with one. Acoustic Energy, a loudspeaker and hi-fi manufacturer, is showing the world's first WiFi Internet radio offering Real Audio, WMA and MP3 support. The company says that the WiFi Internet radio is the world's first streaming media device capable of accessing over 99 percent of Internet radio stations broadcast online anywhere in the world.
The WiFi radio automatically links into the user's existing WiFi network and uses the broadband connection to access Reciva's Internet radio Gateway (Reciva designs and builds Internet radio modules for use with broadband applications). The Reciva Gateway uploads channel listings alphabetically by country and type to the user's AE WiFi radio. There are currently over 2,500 stations registered on the Reciva Gateway and more added every day. The WiFi radio also allows the user to play recorded content and has a built-in alarm and clock function. The AE WiFi radio will be in stores by late fall 2006 and will sell for about $350.
This latest "first" from a UK company is not surprising: Compared with other European countries, England's high-tech industry is vibrant and innovative, with an ever-lengthening list of impressive technological feats.