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Gadgets -PURE Takes Next Gen. Radio to the U.S.

July 19, 2010

PURE Takes Next Gen. Radio to the U.S.

By Stefania Viscusi
Assignment Desk Editor

Kings Langley, U.K.-based PURE is a company that’s got more than just the right idea in mind.

By taking the popularity of IP technologies and fusing it with music to create products that offer high performance, mobility and ease of use, the company is on its way to meeting the ears of many consumers.

Internet connected devices that stream TV, radio, events, and let users stay connected, have become critical today.

An April 2008 Arbitron survey showed that, in the U.S., more than one in seven persons aged 25–54 years old listens to online radio each week. In 2008, 13 percent of the American population listened to the radio online, compared with 11 percent in 2007.

This number continues to climb as user demand for more choice and variety increases.

PURE, the company behind a number of Internet connected products, is a division of Imagination Technologies (News - Alert) Group, a British technology company that creates and licenses semiconductor System-on-Chip Intellectual Property “SoC IP.”

Launched in 2002, PURE’s focus is on the development and sales of digital products, initially in the digital radio arena.

I caught up with Charles Bellfield, the General Manager of PURE North America recently and he told yours truly that PURE’s focus is on, “Delivering Internet connected products that are easy to use, of great quality with the sources of content and functionality that consumers want.”

According to Bellfield, while it’s not a new market, it is finally becoming mainstream with than 70 percent of U.S. consumers now connected to the Internet through broadband connections.

The company’s products, Bellfield said, combine FM with an Internet connection to deliver mainstream live entertainment and news, and to deliver niche and on-demand content along with access to additional services.

The use of digital transmissions through IP, “revolutionizes consumer’s choice of digital content,” Bellfield said. “Within the radio/audio market, PURE allows consumer access to content beyond their physical location through attractive consumer electronics products in the correct location, not just through personal computers and Web browsers ” Bellfield said.

Now, for the first time in the U.S., company officials said they will offer the EVOKE Flow, Oasis Flow and Siesta Flow via online channels this August - with retail availability planned for the future.

These three devices, while designed to meet unique user needs, all hold true to the company’s drive to provide an FM-like receiver user experience while allowing consumers to also break away from their personal computer as desired.

According to company officials, all three products also include access to their proprietary radio and media portal, “PURE Lounge” so users can organize their favorite stations into shared folders and synchronize content on either the radio or via the online portal.

The Oasis Flow, available for an MSRP of $249, is targeted for those users who spend time outdoors working or playing and is a rugged Internet connected radio with a weatherproof case, cast aluminum framework and rubber seals.

For users accustomed to waking to the radio every morning or who prefer to have a bedside audio player, the Siesta Flow, available for an MSRP of $139, is a connected alarm clock that can sit discretely on an end table but, that is powerful enough to fill a room with music - all while keeping the user connected to the Internet.  The device also features 365 different alarm tones, the ability to set up four alert times and a PowerPort to connect USB accessories like phone chargers, reading lights, cup warmers, and more.

Finally, the product the company is already well-known for, the EVOKE Flow, is an Internet connected radio that plays both digital and FM content and streams music from the Web or a users computer.

The EVOKE Flow, which is the winner of more than 30 awards, including 'Radio Product of the Year’ offers more choice over music genres and media content, less advertisements and an improved sound quality over traditional FM radio, Bellfield said.

With an MSRP of $229, the device, which is similar in appearance to a classic radio, but can be taken to any room in the house – even outdoors if a Wi-Fi connection and optional extended battery (MSRP $59.95) pack are in use.

For a more in-depth review of the EVOKE Flow unit and our impressions of the device, be sure to check back with TMCnet.

Stefania Viscusi is an assignment editor for TMCnet, covering voice and Voice over IP technologies. She also oversees production of TMCnet's e-Newsletters in the areas of Internet telephony and speech technology. To read more of Stefania's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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