Interview: Livio Radio Turns Toward AppliancesMay 24, 2012 By Jack Cotter
Livio Radio is about much more than playing some tunes in your car. The Livio Connect API just won the Frost & Sullivan New Product Innovation Award, and you might just see it in your next smart appliance or medical device.
As Dealerscope prepares to launch the 2012 edition of our own 40 Under 40 Awards, it was great to check in with 2011 winner and Livio Radio founder and CEO Jake Sigal.
Sigal has been interested in the intersection of music and technology since he invented the USB turntable while working for Ion Audio as a project manager. He launched Livio Radio with a bluetooth car kit that plugs into a car's 12-volt outlet and wirelessly connects to a smartphone, allowing any audio application to play through the car's FM stereo.
The company has grown rapidly and Livio is now licensing the technology that makes the Car Kit work, Livio Connect, to OEMs and other software providers. Livio Connect is simply "software that gets apps from your smartphone into the dash of your car," explains Sigal. "We work cross platform, there's nothing extra a consumer has to do."
The beauty of Livio Connect is that it just works, even in a world with a seemingly infinite number of hardware and software combinations between smartphones and car dashboards. App developers can use the Livio Connect protocol and gain guaranteed compatibility with all devices in the Livio Network.
Consumers don't want to have to think too hard to get their devices to work, and they especially shouldn't have to do it while driving. As the youngest member of the CEA Board of Industry Leaders, Sigal is face-to-face with recent suggestions by the National Transportation Board about banning phones in cars.
"That's a hot topic. Michael Petricone handles that, and we do have a working group on driving distraction. CEA just released a letter in response to what they're proposing," Sigal says, although he's not too worried about his business. "It is a big issue but at the end of the day consumers are going to do whatever is best for them. If you can make something that's better and easier, consumers are going to do it, and thats in line with what the Innovation Movement stands for."