News & Events

Omnifi Wireless Digital Media Transfer System Debuts at CES 2003

21 years, 5 months ago Tempe, AZ

Tempe, Ariz. – Imagine downloading your favorite music, radio programs, or sports directly from the Internet onto your computer’s hard drive. Now imagine transferring and listening to these downloads in your car or home stereo/theater system. These things shouldn’t be hard to imagine because millions of people are already doing it every day. Now imagine being able to do all of this on a preprogrammed schedule and digitally transferring these downloads directly from your PC to your car and/or home stereo/theater…wirelessly. Omnifi takes the imagination out of these scenarios and has made them a reality. Rockford Corporation is proud to announce that it will debut Omnifi at CES 2003 (booth # 828). With software from SimpleDevices, Inc. and hardware from Rockford Fosgate (for mobile and home audio applications) and Fosgate Audionics (for home stereo/theater applications), Omnifi eliminates the “legwork”, or the need to burn CDs to listen to digital music in the car, and gives consumers the ability to download and transfer music and programs from the Internet to the PC hard drive to the consumer’s car and home stereo/theater systems. “Omnifi allows the consumer to deliver a wide-range of Internet-based digital media from the PC to their automobile and/or home stereo/theater, making this product the most powerful and flexible digital wireless entertainment platform on the market today,” explains Rex Whitehead, Rockford’s director of product planning. “SimpleDevice’s SimpleWare™ and SimpleMedia Services™ software leverages industry standards, such as 802.11 and Universal Plug and Play (UpnP), to extend home networking technology beyond the PC or home gateway to a wide variety of digital device applications. No other company currently offers this wireless transfer capability.”

Omnifi is a family of connected devices based on the SimpleWare software suite. In the Omnifi system, these software applications give consumers the ability to manage their media in one simple, yet powerful media player application, SimpleCenter™ and then wirelessly deliver it to Omnifi devices that connect to the stereo or are installed in the car. SimpleWare is the only connected device software on the market, which enables the delivery of local and Internet-based music, radio streams, information updates and other types of media files to a variety of products. The Omnifi system allows consumers to manage all of their media in one location, and then access it at their stereo or in their automobile. “The Omnifi system is the most technologically advanced yet user friendly connected device solution on the market,” says Craig Janik, CTO for SimpleDevices, the company that developed the SimpleWare software technology. “Using SimpleDevices software development kits and applications, consumer electronics OEMs like Rockford can build UPnP compliant connected devices with enhanced features, such as our unique scheduling and synchronization applications. It’s exciting for consumers because the Omnifi system provides the ability to automatically share and synchronize content among a system of devices, a dream technology that’s available now.”

Omnifi introduces ground-breaking new technology that allows consumers to schedule media delivery to devices. Built to enhance the Internet services package offered with the Omnifi system, including thousands of radio stations, news and information, and a host of additional content from providers such as Live365, Yahoo, Virgin Radio, AOL Shoutcast, Pinnacor, Gracenote, and Muze, Omnifi’s scheduling technology is unique in the industry. The Omnifi scheduler gives users the ability to set information and music preferences in the SimpleCenter application and schedule the delivery of media automatically and wirelessly to devices in the car and at the stereo. This feature works with both local files and Internet-based files a user can access through SimpleCenter’s Internet services offerings. For example, a commuter might choose to schedule an information update of local weather and traffic, stock quotes, breaking news and his daily horoscope to be automatically transferred to the Omnifi device in the car at 6:30 a.m. every day in time for his daily commute. Scheduling is controlled through a simple and intuitive user interface within SimpleCenter and maximizes the benefits of using wireless networking technology. “Omnifi is the only wireless solution for the car,” explains Garry Springgay, Rockford’s senior product analyst. “It allows customers to experience a new level of personalized digital in-car entertainment and information by providing instant access to all your music, all the time. What makes this system so special is that Omnifi stores and plays back hundreds of hours of MP3 music, audio books, customized information updates, and much more. Time-shifted Internet programming, or updated programming, can be customized for automated delivery to the car whenever desired. New content can be automatically updated and streamed wirelessly to the car using 802.11 (Wi-Fi) communications methodology.”

The Omnifi mobile system consists of a remote-mounted, drop resistant, 20-Gigabyte storage unit, an ARM7 microprocessor, and an easy-to-use 1-DIN front mounted controller. The home audio/home theater product developed under this new technology consists of a stand-alone receiver capable of streaming media dispatched from the personal computer and an optional wireless access point this allows 802.11B wireless transmission and receipt of the media). “Simply put, this device allows a user to easily stream the audio content held on their computer or straight from the Internet to a dedicated home theater system without the burden of rewiring your house,” Whitehead says. “This is a new development in the home entertainment industry which by all accounts will bridge the gap between digital PC-based audio content and a performance-oriented, home-based audio system whether it be in the same room or on the other side of the house with no degradation of quality. In fact, with the bandwidth 802.11B yields, multiple streamer receivers can be utilized to ensure this digital PC-based content will be available in any and every room you want it.”

Rockford Corporation is based in Tempe, Ariz. and is a publicly traded company under the NASDAQ stock symbol ROFO.

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About Rockford Fosgate

Setting the standard for excellence in the audio industry, Rockford Corporation markets high-performance audio systems under the brand Rockford Fosgate® for the mobile, motorsport, and marine audio aftermarket and OEM market. Headquartered in Tempe, Ariz., Rockford Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Patrick Industries, Inc. (NASDAQ: PATK).