HP and Nokia entered in an agreement to market a service that enables mobile phone users to receive FM radio broadcasts synchronized with interactive visuals and text on their handsets. Nokia announced the "Visual Radio" concept in October 2003 and has now teamed with HP to bring the service to market globally.
Visual Radio enables users to view real-time information on artists, upcoming concert dates and other music-related topics on the phone display while simultaneously enjoying live FM broadcasts of their favorite radio programs. The service allows easy interactivity with the broadcast, such as participation in listener competitions and promotions, and it enables users to easily purchase ring tones and other digital content associated with their favorite music and artists. Visual Radio also delivers these benefits to traffic and weather reports, talk radio and sports broadcasts.
Nokia says it has plans to make the Visual Radio technology available to other handset manufacturers.
Under the terms of the agreement, Nokia will provide and continue to develop the Visual Radio technology that it has created. HP will sell the solution to mobile operators and FM radio stations worldwide, as well as provide installation, consulting and integration support. In addition, HP will host and manage the Visual Radio service using standards-based HP platforms.
Visual Radio is expected to be initially available in select countries this summer. Nokia plans to introduce new Visual Radio-enabled handsets to support the rollout of the service.