CES 2007: XM to go beyond radio with weather, video

Pre-CES 2007 coverage Washington (DC) - XM, the current market share leading satellite radio service, announced today that it will delve further into in-car entertainment, offering a personal weather tracking system and an in-car video concept at next week's CES show in Las Vegas.

According to XM, the personal weather device will use GPS technology to track real-time weather conditions between the pre-set starting and ending locations, which will allow the driver to choose an alternate course if conditions for the current route seem too hazardous.

"You're not just getting the temperature and the forecast for a city. You get the weather that will impact your specific journey, and this information is constantly being updated. It's a major breakthrough in providing consumers with comprehensive, personalized weather information," said XM VP Rod Mackenzie.

Additionally, XM will be showing off a test vehicle at CES with "concepts such as in-car video," according to a press release. XM says that it is possible to receive video and television content from the same satellites that currently feed XM radio programming.

XM also hinted at future concepts, including voice recognition technology that would allow drivers to check traffic, stock, and sports scores with voice-prompted commands.

The move to enter areas other than traditional radio springs up as the competition has begun to step up from late entrant Sirius Satellite Radio. Stock prices for both Sirius and XM dipped severely in 2006, because of lawsuits, recalls, and shifts in channel line-ups, but overall XM has managed to stay in better shape than Sirius.

However, the competition is still fierce, with Sirius showing promise at the end of 2006 by ending with a Q4 positive free cash flow and toppling the six million subscriber mark. XM, meanwhile, hit seven million subscribers in July.