Roadcasting

Post ImageMy “wireless everywhere” mantra is becoming more and more of a reality every day. The latest wireless technology (and also the latest “add -casting” buzzword for 2005) is Roadcasting, a project developed by current and former master’s students at the Human Computer Interaction Institute.

Roadcasting uses a variant of the popular Wi-Fi technology to create ad hoc networks between vehicles. Each vehicle then acts as a “node”, extending the network’s reach a mile at a time. Essentially you get to have your own little radio station, and instead of tuning to a frequency to listen to music, the system will find music that you’ll like from other people’s collections.

The system — still largely theoretical — will also feature a collaborative-filtering mechanism that compares music in a recipients’ collection to that of the broadcaster. The filter will pump out a mix of songs matching the listener’s tastes.

“What’s really cool about this is that while you’re busy (driving), Roadcasting will just pick songs that you enjoy,” said Mathilde Pignol, one of the Roadcasting developers, “and then it will let you influence the songs with your music taste without you having to do anything.”

Makes one wonder what the RIAA would have to say about this. Considering that in Canada (and perhaps elsewhere) doctors offices and similar entities must pay a yearly fee to play music for their clients, I can’t see how the RIAA would let something like Roadcasting slide. I suppose stranger things have happened though!

I rather like the idea of Roadcasting. Their process page has a really good description of some of the positives and negatives of both radio, and of being a DJ. Apparently the system is in the prototype stage, though its unlikely to take off without major automobile manufacturer support.

And I thought podcasting was cutting edge!

Read: Wired News

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