By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
The feature set in Sony's planned mylo portable digital device is aimed squarely at 18- to 22-year-olds and anyone who uses the PC as a main form of communication.
The handheld device is a flash-memory-based portable media player (PMP) that also delivers Wi-Fi-enabled Web browsing, e-mail, instant messaging and Skype VoIP service.
Mylo stands for “my life online” and “takes the fun elements of a PC and puts them in a 'pocketable' device,” said a spokeswoman.
The unit, due from Sony's Vaio division at an expected everyday retail of $350, will be available through Sonystyle.com and Sony Style stores in September. The company is also targeting big box retailers in Wi-Fi-enabled cities and in major college towns where campuses are Wi-Fi-equipped.
The device, however, does not support over-the-air media downloads via Wi-Fi directly to the device from a download site. One wireless feature, however, enables the device to detect nearby mylo devices, share playlists and stream music with another mylo, but only two devices can connect wirelessly at a time.
The unit features a 2.4-inch color LCD and a slide out QWERTY keyboard for thumb typing. An embedded HTML browser lets users view Web pages and send and receive e-mails through providers such as Yahoo! Mail and GMail. It also comes with Skype for free Internet calls to the more than 113 million other PC-connected Skype users. Skype charges for Mylo-to-phone service, however.
The product includes JiWire's hot spot directory listing of more than 20,000 Wi-Fi networks in the United States so users can find a hot spot. The unit boots up in seconds and scans for available networks. A “buddy” or “What's Up” screen display shows which friends are online.
The mylo incorporates 1GB of embedded flash memory and a slot for Memory Stick Duo for up to 5GB of additional storage. It supports MP3, ATRAC or WMA (secure or unsecure) files and MPEG-4 video. An embedded speaker reproduces music and soundtracks.
The device's lithium ion battery delivers up to 45 hours of music playback, seven hours of chatting and Web surfing, or more than three hours of continuous Skype usage.
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