European Satellite Radio to be unveiled today
The European Space Agency (ESA) today will demonstrate a prototype of what they call "the multimedia car radio of the future" at the Noordwijk Space Expo in the Netherlands. Unlike XM and Sirius' satellite radio services, this system won't require the launching of new satellites - instead it will use existing communications satellites transmitting in the Ku-band.
The satellite radio system employs a flat mobile antenna that is designed to be embedded into the roof the car. It also utilizes on-board caching (through a hard-drive or solid-state memory) to prevent interuption of service when the satellite signal is obstructed. This caching of course also allows for time-shifting abilities like pause and rewind of live radio.
ESA and its partners have worked on the mobile multimedia system for over three years. The technology could spell bad news for WorldSpace Satellite Radio which is looking to be the dominant satellite radio provider outside of the US.
There's obviously no word on any content providers for the system as it's still in the prototype phases. (Tip to Sirius, XM: Get on the horn with ESA and work on striking a deal to provide content for these guys.)
[ESA via CBC]