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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sony Debuts Dancing MP3 Player

Sony has unveiled a palm-sized digital audio player that combines the typical features of an MP3 player with robotic technologies to allow it to spin, flash lights and move forward and backward to the music.

Called the Rolly, a combination of the words "rolling" and "friendly," Sony says it is meant to make listening and sharing music a more entertaining way. It includes 1GB of internal memory, measures 6.5 centimeters (2.5 inches) in diameter and weighs about 300 grams (10 ounces).

The player includes onboard robotics software which analyzes the music and then causes its lights to switch on and off, or move its speaker covers to move the player back and forth. The user can also set the player to sit motionless if they so desire.

About 4 hours of battery life are available if the user allows the Rolly to move to the music. Five hours of battery life are available if the device is motionless, Sony says.

No buttons are found on the player save the on/off switch. Instead, the user twists one ring to move between tracks, and the other to adjust the volume. The Rolly can play MP3, Sony's ATRAC, or AAC files.

In an innovative feature for MP3 players, the Rolly also includes Bluetooth capabilities, allowing it to receive and react to streamed music. Sony says the feature works with any device capable of Bluetooth streaming.

How the player moves is up to the user. While from the factory a pre-set "dance" is available, customers with a PC can use the included Motion Editor software to create new moves for the Rolly. In addition, an online community will allow users to share their moves with others.

Initially, the player will only be available in Japan starting September 29 at a price of 40,000 yen ($353 USD). Sony hopes to roll the device out elsewhere beginning next year, although no specific launch details have been released.
Taken from BetaNews


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