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Sony Launches WiFi Broadband Communication, Entertainment Device
Aug 8, 2006
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Sony is launching its first WiFi broadband communication and entertainment device to capitalize on the growth of wireless Internet access. The new mylo(TM) personal communicator is capable of operating in any open 802.11b wireless network, often found on college campuses, in public spaces and within private homes around the country.

This product is designed for people who use instant messaging as a primary form of communication and networking for their social life. The name mylo stands for "my life online" and the communicator lets you use instant messaging, browse the Internet, listen to music, send emails and view photos concurrently.

It is small enough for a pocket or purse, and the slim, oblong-shaped device features a 2.4-inch color LCD (measured diagonally) with a slide out QWERTY keyboard for thumb typing. The device, available in black or white, comes embedded with instant messaging services: the Google Talk(TM) instant messaging service, Skype and Yahoo! Messenger(TM). These services are free and the product does not require initial computer setup or a monthly service contract.

The pocketable design encourages users to get up and away from their desks and roam available wireless networks. The product includes JiWire's hotspot directory listing more than 20,000 WiFi networks in the U.S. to find the nearest hotspots. The product's personal communicator boots up in seconds and can scan for available wireless networks right away. The embedded HTML browser lets consumers quickly connect to full Web pages on the Internet. It can also send and receive text emails with web mail services like Yahoo!(R) Mail and the Gmail(TM) web mail service.

The communicator comes with Skype(TM) software built into it, allowing registered Skype users to make free Internet calls with the 113 million other Skype users worldwide. For a limited time, Skype is offering free SkypeOut(TM) calls from U.S. and Canada to most phone numbers in the U.S. or Canada.

Providing networking possibilities without a wireless network, the personal communicator detects when it comes into the presence of other units. With the ad-hoc application, you can share play lists and stream music between communicators one at a time. The device uses a lithium-ion battery that offers up to 45 hours of music playback, around seven hours of chatting and web surfing and more than 3 hours of continuous Skype talk time. It comes with a microphone, stereo headphones, a USB cable and a neoprene case. The personal communicator will be available in September for about U.S. $350.

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