By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
TWICE: Looking farther into the future, what about WiMax- or cellular-connected PMPs that download or stream content wherever and whenever (there is a signal, that is)?
Eisen: Wi-Fi-enabled devices are already here. WiMax and/or cellular is clearly the next step.
Duea: The ubiquitous cellphone that is compatible with Napster To Go and Napster Mobile will soon become most people's MP3 player and PMP of choice, and it will enable them get music (and music videos) any way they want it. These phones and their wireless broadband capabilities will allow music fans to enjoy unlimited music on the go for one monthly fee, downloading as much as they want from their PC or over the air to their cellphone.
With 32GB MicroSD cards coming within two years, consumers will be able to carry not only music but music videos, movies and much more. With external memory slots, consumers will be able to upgrade the memory capacity of the phone or even use MicroSD cards like they currently use DVDs. Music fans will be able to search Napster's catalog of over 2.5 million songs, stream samples of everything and then download as much as they want. They will also be able to explore, share and stream playlists, but with the huge storage capacities that are coming, they may prefer to download it all.
Smith: We're very close to the day where devices — ours anyway — will play HD movies, download them wirelessly from online content stores directly to the device, have full touch-screen navigation and offer a form factor that's all screen — no buttons under your thumb. As content unloads on the portable market, it makes absolute sense for consumers to purchase or rent movies from the Web directly onto their devices, or stream movies and TV shows over a wireless network from their PC or the Web. Some of these features exist today in our new 604 Wi-Fi, but others are right around the corner. The next three years will be breakthrough in portable video.
TWICE: What is the outlook for MediaFlo and DVB-H receivers in future PMPs to stream broadcast video channels to PMPs?
Smith: Archos is doing this already in Europe, so, obviously, it's not that far away!
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.