Greenville, S.C. — A second-generation wireless instant messaging device from Zipit Wireless adds MP3 player, photo viewer, and Wi-Fi streaming of Web radio stations and PC-stored music at $149.
Like its predecessor, the handheld Zipit Wireless Messenger Z2 incorporates Wi-Fi 802.11b to let users access AOL, Yahoo and MSN instant messaging accounts without having to sit at a PC.
Wireless IM service for Zipit Messengers has been available through home Wi-Fi networks and free public Wi-Fi networks, but in another advance, supplier Zipit Wireless said it reached an agreement to give Zipit users free Wi-Fi service at almost 9,000 Wayport-enabled McDonald’s restaurants in the U.S. Free Wi-Fi service for Zipit owners is targeted to launch in mid-November 2007.
The Z2 will be available in October through . Its predecessor, launched in 2004, was available through Target.com, Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, Best Buy, RadioShack and CompUSA.
With the new model, consumers can chat with up to 99 people at a time across three instant messaging platforms simultaneously. While they’re chatting, users can play MP3 and WMA music files stored on an optional miniSD card or streamed wirelessly via Wi-Fi directly from a Zipit site that aggregates Web radio stations. The streaming feature is also available on a trial basis to all existing Zipit Wireless Messengers.