MP3 co-creator wants to smarten-up dumb devices

January 11, 2010
A widescreen video MP3 player is displayed at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 8, in Las Vegas, Nevada. A German electrical engineer who helped make MP3 players a reality has turned his attention to making "dumb devices" act smart.

A German electrical engineer who helped make MP3 players a reality has turned his attention to making "dumb devices" act smart.

Karlheinz Brandenburg, now a professor at Ilmenau University of Technology in Germany, is backing Perfect Stream technology that lets in the Internet "cloud" do the thinking for simple gadgets.

"When I first met these guys it sounded crazy to me," Brandenburg told AFP while courting partners for Perfect Stream at a major that ended Sunday in Las Vegas.

"But I have a fondness for crazy ideas because when we started MP3 it seemed crazy to everyone as well."

MP3 is now a nearly ubiquitous format used for online and in mobile devices such as smartphones and music players.

The idea with Perfect Stream is to have digital video and audio tailored to individual tastes and delivered as a service to essentially any gizmo that can talk to the Internet.

Perfect Stream has proven itself in Germany and the company was at CES to license the technology to Internet service providers in the United States.

"This technology works and now we are trying to internationalize it," said Nikolas Samios of Perfect Stream.

Services can be programmed with a person's preferred shows, news sources, music, Twitter feeds, or other Internet content and the data can be routed to digital picture frames, in-car navigation systems, feature phones, game consoles and more, according to Brandenburg.

"It bridges the different technologies," Samios said.

"These are all walled-garden devices that usually never talk to each other."

Personalized Internet streams can flow seamlessly to sophisticated online electronics or to "any kind of stupid phone, a 50-dollar phone with a prepaid plan," according to Samios.

The key is in processing digital content on servers "in the cloud" and then feeding it to gadgets that need only receive and decode the data, Brandenburg said.

Perfect Stream demonstrated the service on a series of devices, including an inexpensive Internet radio and a Philips television with basic Internet connectivity.

Explore further: Sony Ericsson to offer Walkman cellphones

Related Stories

Sony Ericsson to offer Walkman cellphones

February 14, 2005

Sony Ericsson announces its mobile music strategy for 2005 including the integration of high quality digital music players into stylish mobile phones under the world famous Walkman brand. This will create a compelling consumer ...

Nokia launches latest handset: Nokia 6125

January 16, 2006

Nokia launched Monday its latest handset Nokia 6125 with phone, Bluetooth and MP3 player. Equipped with digital zoom, video recording and Internet capabilities, the phone can be used for entertainment and information as well.

Scuppering pirates improves internet audio

August 9, 2007

A new digital watermarking system not only protects music and media files from online pirates but also ensures that the quality for legitimate users is as good as it gets.

Recommended for you

Cellphones can steal data from 'air-gapped computers'

July 28, 2015

Researchers at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) Cyber Security Research Center have discovered that virtually any cellphone infected with a malicious code can use GSM phone frequencies to steal critical information ...

Tech leaders warn over 'killer robots' (Update)

July 28, 2015

A group of top tech leaders, including British scientist Stephen Hawking and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, on Tuesday issued a stern warning against the development of so-called killer robots.

Where is solar power headed?

July 22, 2015

Most experts agree that to have a shot at curbing the worst impacts of climate change, we need to extricate our society from fossil fuels and ramp up our use of renewable energy.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.