Road Radio

LAS VEGAS, January 12, 2009 (AFP) – German audio equipment maker Blaupunkt and Australia’s miRoamer have teamed up to produce the first Internet car radio, giving drivers access to tens of thousands of Web radio stations. “As for in-car installs, we’ve been inundated with a lot of companies who are interested in this,” he said, declining to name the interested automobile manufacturers. “I would imagine that that would probably happen in 2010.”

Parthimos said Blaupunkt expects the radio to cost around 399 dollars.

George Parthimos, chief executive of miRoamer, said the Blaupunkt 600i is the first “purpose-built Internet car radio, where the Internet radio capabilities are an ingredient part of the actual unit itself.”

“It will have everything you’d expect to find in a medium- to high-end radio — AM/FM, CD, MP3 — with the added ingredient of Internet radio,” he said of the device, which was unveiled at the annual Consumer Electronics Show here.

A 3G mobile phone with a data plan is needed to connect the radio to the Internet, Parthimos said, and the company estimates the average user would consume around two gigabytes of data a month.

“It uses Bluetooth connectivity to connect to a cellphone and th