Today I went along to the launch of a very interesting new radio, the Pure Sensia.
It’s a DAB radio, FM radio, internet radio and media player rolled into one. But it also, interestingly allows you to use apps. And as we all know, there’s nothing more exciting than apps in 2009.
I’ve got to say, it is a very smart looking radio, with a very nice touch screen interface. It’s WiFi, so you hook it up to your network and away you go. Various radio companies, yes including Absolute Radio (as you can see in the picture above), have created slideshow elements that are delivered via the internet and can be synced up to whatever the station is playing at the time. So above you can see Christian O’Connell, but it changes to other station promotions, or pieces of information as the station likes.
The internet connectivity of the radio also means that you see station logos when choosing a radio station.
A lot of the internet connectivity is similar to what Pure has put in its Flow and subsequent radios. I’ve not played around with one of these, but they do seem to be the best on the market (sadly, when I upped the security on my own WiFi network to WPA2 my Bush radio stopped talking to my network).
But the apps ability is probably the most exciting. We saw an early version of the firmware with two apps currently working – a Twitter app and a weather app. Both of these were also early versions with no real ability to update your Twitter feed via the device. But it seemed to work well. The weather app looked good and will in due course have five day forecasts built in.
Forthcoming apps include news, Picasa and Facebook. At some point next year, Pure will release an SDK for other developers to build apps. Apps are actually hosted on Pure’s Lounge website and it’s not yet clear what they’ll do about approving apps or hosting.
The radio can be angled so that the screen points in the right direction for your viewing position, and a really interesting idea is the inclusion of a tripod mount in the base. I was told that this was for wall mounting. Pure doesn’t make a wall mount but a standard connector like a tripod screw means that either consumers can make one themselves, or third party manufacturers can.
Overall an impressive device. The cost, at £250 isn’t cheap, but could probably be worse. This is never going to be mass market, but once the technology has matured, hopefully cheaper devices will follow. The radio pumps out some pretty decent sound which is also quite important.
Will I get one? Well I’m not sure. The design is nice, although I’d avoid the yellow one if I was you. But it is quite expensive as I say.
If they’d also built recording to SD card (or hard disk) functionality into it, then I’d be queuing up now to buy one when they come out in October, but sadly nobody seems willing to make the one device that I really really want.
But it’s pretty good nonetheless.
As ever, these opinions are my personal ones, even though I was probably really only invited to the launch because my employer is supporting this device very heavily.