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Breaker, breaker …

An email in this morning’s inbox mentions CB radio, causing me to cast my mind back to the late 1970s, when significant efforts were made by the government to stop people communicating.

CB radio, for those who don’t remember, was what we’d now call an open access technology; you didn’t need to hold the licence required by so called ham radio operators. All you needed was a catchy ‘handle’ – the equivalent of today’s Twitter user name. With power output limited to 4W, CB was very much a short range communications medium.

Although a US development, CB radio was popularised in the UK by a couple of novelty songs and the movie Convoy. Terminally shy teenagers could talk to their peers without having to leave their bedrooms and many relationships were forged via CB.

Like many novelties, CB flared and died away, but it remains popular with die hard users, as well as some cab and lorry drivers.

Now, automotive technology specialist Continental has launched the VoicR app, which it says will transform analogue CB radio technology into ‘an ad-hoc network for the exchange of location-based voice messages in real-time’a. It says it can also create personalised channels defined by the user whose range can be specified

As we continue to find out, there appears to be nothing new under the Sun.

Graham Pitcher

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