Wireless Satellite Radio

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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Wireless satellite radio is the next major step in the evolution of the form. In this case, "wireless" essentially means "wearable," like a Walkman for satellite radio. This development is making terrestrial radio (i.e., traditional "free" radio) quake in its corporate boots.

Wireless Satellite Radio: Not Just for Technophiles

Traditional radio supporters have mostly dismissed satellite radio as nothing more than a niche product, mainly because it has been so dependent on specific wiring. They figured the numbers of people willing to fork over cash for radio that was limited in its convenience were small. However, a wireless, wearable technology increases the appeal of satellite radio considerably.

Wearable satellite radio devices, in terms of technology, are potentially a kind of a cross between TiVo and DirectTV in a Walkman or iPod style. You can enjoy genre-specific music or talk radio programming live as it's transmitted via satellite. You can also record that programming, to enjoy later, as many times as you like, at no additional charge. And you can carry your little receiver around with you to enjoy via headphones in the car, at the computer, at the gym, in the store, walking to school, etc.

In terms of where the technology is right now, satellite radio provider XM just released their first wearable model. These early users have found some bugs in the system--like reception problems in certain locations, a less than intuitive keypad, and a pricetag that currently ka-chings to the tune of about $350 dollars. However, most agree that the overall results are pretty cool. It's believed future models will display lower price tags and improved reception capability. Regardless, even at this early stage, the interest of both consumers and investors has been piqued, and the result may be a surge in satellite radio awareness, usage, and investor value.

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