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Sony Rolls Out Rolly, OLED, Bravia Modules

LAS VEGAS — Sony unveiled a slate of new products during its International CES press conference, including its prototype 27-inch OLED TV, the Rolly music player and new modules for its Bravia flat-panel televisions.

Sony also took the wraps off a partnership with Ford to be the exclusive supplier of branded in-car audio products for all Ford and Mercury vehicles beginning in 2009, and with CBS Interactive to provide content for Sony’s Internet Link. The company also announced a partnership with Wayport to provide free Wi-Fi access to Mylo users.

Rolly is a music player born in Sony’s robotic division, capable of moving and blinking lights to the beat of music. It contains 2GB of internal memory, Bluetooth and USB connectivity. It will ship through Sony Style stores and select dealers in the second half, said Steven Haber, digital imaging and audio division senior VP.

Sony also debuted three new modules for its Bravia TVs, including a DVD Link, an Input Link with three HDMI inputs, and a Media Extender Link for wirelessly sending computer content to the TV.

A new digital SLR will join its Alpha lineup. The 10-megapixel A200, for an estimated $700 with a lens in the box, will replace Sony’s first consumer-level d-SLR, the A100, in February.

The firm also pulled back the curtain on technologies still under development, including 4K — an 8-million-pixel display that can reproduce four, 1080p video feeds on one screen.

Sony also attempted (unsuccessfully) to demonstrate a new wireless transfer technology, dubbed Transfer Jet, that can send video and still files from digital cameras and camcorders to TVs or PCs at 500MBps.

But it was OLED technology that brought Sony chairman Sir Howard Stringer to the stage. While the 27-inch OLED panel was still a prototype, Stringer hailed it as the product that signified the future direction of the company. (See TWICE CES Daily, Jan 7, p. 1.)

Then, with Stringer’s typical humor, he said, “OLED … sounds like a Viking Norse god.” When he got a laugh from the audience Stringer quipped, “I knew it had to be funny. All of our executives in the front row just laughed.”