Audio specialists Blaupunkt chose the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to showcase the world’s first internet radio for for cars.
Internet radio gives you access to thousands of stations from all over the world, and now you can listen to them while you drive.
Blaupunkt displayed the New Jersey internet radio and the smaller Hamburg model at the 2009 CES. These two devices each connect to the internet through a mobile phone internet connection.
Wireless Bluetooth technology, found on most mobile phones, links the phone to the radio.
Mobile phone contract
A 3G mobile contract with a generous internet-download allowance would be essential for using these devices without incurring huge bills.
David Evans, senior Which? cars researcher, said: ‘Given how sporadic internet wireless connections can be in the home, this seems a brave step and only time will tell whether it works. And the potential cost of such a system is likely to be high.’
The radios will cut out automatically if you receive a call within your car. The New Jersey model, priced around 400 Euros, features a keypad which directly accesses your mobile phone if you wish to make calls from within your car.
The smaller Hamburg radio, priced around 300 Euros, does not feature a keypad, though both models do have a USB connection point and high-resolution colour displays.
Internet radio UK launch
Both Blaupunkt radios will be available in the UK in the second half of 2009.
For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? news RSS feed here. If you have an older web browser you may need to copy and paste this link into your newsreader: http://www.which.co.uk/feeds/reviews/news.xml. Find out more about RSS in the Which? guide to news feeds
Sign up to the Which? weekly technology email
Keep your finger on the pulse of digital technology with the weekly email from the Which? Technology team. Every Tuesday we’ll send you the latest news and reviews of MP3 players, mobile phones, cameras, high-definition TVs and other gadgets. Packed with the latest product launches, First Look reviews, expert advice and some incredible deals – can you afford not to be the first to find out?