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Olinda, first look

Rabbit infront of the radio

I’m pleased to be able to bring you Olinda, the social radio prototype we’ve designed and built for BBC Audio & Music.

Tristan Ferne, who commissioned Olinda and leads the BBC Radio Labs, is currently at the Futuresonic Conference, discussing what happens when you put social networks and the Web inside consumer electronics – in particular, this radio – and is giving the folks there the very first look. But for those of us not in Manchester…

For background, photos and more, check out Olinda.

4 Comments and Trackbacks

  • 1. dave austin said on 3 May 2008...

    The thinking that has gone into this is great. Disappointingly, as an object it looks horrific, what’s with the Galactic Empire aesthetic?

  • 2. dave austin said on 3 May 2008...

    After a little further reading I understand now. So I’ll take back my previous remark. “the BBC will put the IPR of Olinda under an attribution license–the equivalent of a BSD or Creative Commons Attribution. If a manufacturer or some person wants to make use of the ideas and design of the device, they’re free to do so.” Keep up the good work.

  • 3. Matt said on 3 May 2008...

    Gosh, ‘horrific’s a little strong but I’m glad it’s provoked something!

    As a visual object, we wanted the radio to reflect the processes by which is was made, and the ideas behind it. For example, the screens point up and forwards because those are the two positions you encounter the radio (standing over it to tune, and in-front of it to see what’s playing). So that principle came through instead of screen positions based purely on visual arrangement. And then there are certain thicknesses and configurations of plastic resin that are simpler to cast in one piece, so that guides more of the form, and so on. The most obvious example of this is the hardware interface, which is the most physical unusual part of the device solely so people realise new modules can be snapped on like Lego bricks.

    So, if you like, Olinda wears its heart on its sleeve, and – I hope – that’ll lead folks into considering (and adopting) some of the ideas about social networks and modularity. In that sense, it’s all about what you mention in your second comment: the pamphlet is full of ideas we’d like to see picked up, ditto the design of the hardware connection, the social display, and the user interface… the license covers that sort of use, and Olinda is an advert for that.

  • 4. Juan said on 6 May 2008...

    Hi, nice to know of products such as Olinda! With two other friends we’ve started, a web application where you can listen, discover and share radios with your friends. We’ve also developed a Facebook application, so we hope you can check them out. If you have any comments or suggestions, please visit our blog:

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