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New Developments from Motorola

Motorola's announcement of the ROKR E2, which will apparently not include Apple's iTunes Mobile version, has been bounces around the blogosphere as an unfortunate, but inevitable outcome of the poor design limitations of the ROKR E1. The 100 song limit and brick form factor put many off the ROKR E1, even though the iTunes mobile app was expected to be killer.

The ROKR E2 is to include Motorola's own iRadio functionality. iRadio looks promising as a competitor to XM and Sirius satellite radio services- digital radio programming on the go. But what does Motorola have to contribute to the mix, and why might they be a force to be reckoned with?

iRadio Features

iRadio will have a similar programming format to Sirius and XM- digital audio channels carrying diverse content to a portable player. But a key difference is the player itself. iRadio will be carried on mobile phones.  This gives a device which many people already carry on their person with a receiver for terrestrial digital radio wherever their carrier's network allows. A bookmarking feature allows the user to hit a button on their phone to mark a song they hear and like, which they will be able to download through the carrier's music service of choice either over the air or on their PC when they get home.  The audio quality is said to be higher than satellite radio, and plays over Bluetooth stereo headsets.

iPod Still in the Picture

Something else Motorola announced that everyone seems to have ignored is the Media Duo. This is a bundled Bluetooth adaptor for current-gen iPods with a Motorola stereo headset. The bundle allows wireless iPodding, and when the user's Bluetooth-compatible phone gets a call, they can easily pause the music and answer the call.  A nice feature of the ROKR E1, the pause capability will be a welcome addition to regular iPod use.

Motorola in the Home

Mototola has also announced a push in the direction of home media networking. They plan to release set-top boxes that are capable of using the internal coaxial wiring of many homes (wired for cable TV) as a network for shuttling content between different devices in different rooms. The overall theme of CES this year appears to be online video, with many vendors announcing Media Center PC ventures, especially those embracing Intel's new Viiv marketing initiative. Many other announcements involved HD-DVD, and even holographic storage. Motorola is certainly not behind the trends in this case, having a set of strong offerings that should compete well in the marketplace if positioned correctly.

Below is an extended quote from the Motorola press release for more detail:

...the Motorola ROKR E2 delivers an optimized multimedia experience. With up to 2GB of removable SD™ mass memory*, ROKR E2 lets you store as many as 500 of your favorite tunes, and wirelessly stream music from your handset to compatible Bluetooth®-stereo-enabled devices. And, oh yes, you also can make and receive phone calls, take pictures, send text messages and much more. All with one Motorola mobile handset – “the device formerly known as the cell phone.”

iRadio™ Digital Music Service. The award-winning Motorola iRadio debuts its subscription service with 435 commercial-free channels and a listening experience that seamlessly follows you from home to car to headphones. It’s a complete audio experience enabled by the one device you’re never without – your mobile handset.

O ROKR Sunglasses. Building on the excitement around the innovative RAZRWIRE™ Bluetooth enabled eyewear, Motorola and Oakley do it again with O ROKR™, the world’s first sunglasses featuring integrated, Bluetooth stereo technology for wireless communications and wire-free music enjoyment. Go wirelessly incognito as you stream music from your compatible mobile handset or portable music player equipped with a separately available add-on Bluetooth adapter.

Audex™ Burton Jacket Series. Audex Burton jackets deliver a new high for mountain- and mogul-loving audiophiles! Combining Burton’s active sportswear for snowboarding, Motorola mobile communications and Bluetooth wireless technology, Audex Burton jackets enable hands-free fun and mobility – again, taking wearable communication to new heights of fun and functionality.

Motorola Music Duo. At last, iPod™ can deliver the music without the wires! Music Duo – a combination of the TEN Technology naviPlay™ Bluetooth® Adapter for iPod™ and the Motorola HT820 Bluetooth Stereo Headphones – lets you stream music from your iPod** to your Motorola Bluetooth Stereo headphones. Now you don’t have to miss a beat – or a call! With the Music Duo, you’re in control – and in charge. Listen to your music, pause to take your calls, and resume playing music when you’re done.

JBL On Tour™ Mobile. Optimized to work with your favorite Motorola music-enabled phones, JBL on Tour Mobile portable music box and speakerphone connects with your mobile phone and fills your room with music while you stay connected to your calls.


Mobile TV Solutions. On-demand entertainment meets your wireless lifestyle! See how Motorola is combining leadership in mobile devices, wireless and broadband networks and digital video encoding to drive broadcast-mobile convergence. This must-see experience will demonstrate live television streaming to an automobile headrest and to your mobile device.

Whole-Home Media Software. Seamlessly access stored digital entertainment – whether high-definition video on a DVR, music on a laptop or pictures on a digital camera – from any connected device in your home. Or, if you’re out and about, view recordings synched from your Motorola DVR to a mobile device.

Digital Set-Tops with Integrated Home Media Networking. Create a connected home network to access and share high-definition content through the existing coaxial cable in the walls of your home. These new set-tops also support high-definition digital video recording, video-on-demand, an interactive program guide and other technologies. Verizon Communications is deploying this product as part of the Verizon FiOS™ TV service now available in parts of Texas, Virginia and Florida.

Posted on January 5, 2006 | Permalink | Tag this post with del.icio.us | This Post Now Lives Here


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