during a Press Briefing I've joined in Munich, Agere Systems introduced the
version 1 of its "Mobile Content Server (MCS)" which is called BluOnyx. BluOnyx can
transfer, stream and share music, videos, pictures, business files to or from mobile
phones, digital cameras, digital camcorders, PCs. BluOnyx MCS can access the
internet via Wi-Fi or over multiple mobile networks around the globe in the
office, at home or on the move.
With a footprint of a credit card and thinner
than a Blackberry, the BluOnyx MCS is a highly valuable mobile device for the
YouTube generation and consumers that want to access, backup and share their
content using broadcast mode or for rapid internet access. This elegantly
designed device offers the freedom to display contents on mobile phones, PCs and
With dimensions of 90mm x 60mm, the server easily slips
into a shirt pocket or purse and features its own (non-removable) rechargeable
battery that lasts up to 12 hours. Thickness ranges between 6mm and 19mm,
depending in the amount of storage required (1 GB, 2 GB, 4 GB flash memory up to
10 GB and 40 GB HDD). The 40 GB version weights about 140 grams, or about half
of the weight of a typical smart phone.
RÃƒÂ¼diger Stroh, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Storage
Division of Agere Systems, who introduced the system said: "The BluOnyx
server deserves to be called a breakthrough as it brings a newfound freedom
to consumers through an open platform. We wanted to create a highly mobile
device that solves a lot of the connectivity issues consumers have while
giving them all the storage they want at an affordable price. Users can have
their content with them, exchange content between their various mobile and
stationary devices and share their private content with friends in social
settings. This capability will finally make a PC just another consumer
device instead of the centre of the digital universe." And added that "this
device doesn't has a display because it used the mobile phone as the user
interface to completely control the BluOnyx".
The BluOnyx server has a sleek screen-free look and is controlled via its
owner's mobile phone. Instead of being limited to its own display like many
existing products, its contents can be displayed on a mobile phone, PC or TV
screen. Any media file format, including MP3, AAC music files as well as MPEG or
AVI files, can be loaded onto the BluOnyx. The BluOnyx server is DRM agnostic
and can serve up content that can be decoded by a target device with DRM
- Access and display personal content carried on the BluOnyx
server on cell phone wirelessly (v1 Bluetooth, v2 Bluetooth & WiFi) or wired
(miniUSB & SD card slot).
- Create a Digital Campfire server which enables point-to-multiple-point
content broadcasting and sharing by authorizing access to the BluOnyx server
through a mobile phone. In Automotive settings, each person can view and
listen to their own content.
- Stream videos to one or more mobile phones.
- Back up pictures, music, video, emails, personal and business documents
and images from mobile phones, cameras and PCs.
- Enable access to the Internet for mobile phones and PDAs that are not
broadband enabled and can not access the Internet on their own.
- Protect content via multiple tiers of authentication and encryption.
Agere Systems has invented and patented the BluOnyx, which is an entirely
new product category that overcomes the limitations of existing PC-centric,
single-function, closed system portable consumer electronics.
The company is currently in discussions with consumer electronic device
makers and mobile phone service providers regarding manufacturing and
private labeling unique products based on the BluOnyx server system and
industrial design. So don't expect to see the BluOnyx under the Agere
Systems brand but but it will be released under carrier name or device
manufacture brands later this year. Partnerships wasn't announced today.
The retail price of the v1 BluOnyx server is expected to range from 99 Euro
to 250 Euro, depending on memory capacity. Availability can be expected for
mid of this year with broader availability during the holiday season.
2 of the BluOnyx, which might be released later this year as well, will even
includes W-LAN connectivity to either make the BluOnyx part of your home
network or bridge the Internet to your mobile phone using WiFi and
I'm really excited about the BluOnyx since it offers thousand and
one possibilities from streaming to sharing to backup and more. To make the
use even easier, BluOnix will include a J2ME Java application which pushes
to a connected mobile phone the first time the device pairs with a mobile
phone. After, this application is used as the remote to control the BluOnys
server. Unfortunately, this "easy to setup" is also the drawback since Agere Systems doesn't plan to support mobile
operating systems such as Windows Mobile, Symbian or Palm OS with native
remote control applications which means your mobile device needs a J2ME
your are stuck with J2ME, even if your smartphone could do
way more. So as easy to use this approach is for standard feature phones,
it's not supporting smart devices through the smart devices API.
Nevertheless, Agere Systems plans to make the whole device accessible for
the developer community and the one or the other developer might come around the
corner with further customized applications.
For more information and for
expressing your views on you can either visit the BluOnyx BluBlog or the Agere
Cheers ~ Arne