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MULTIMEDIA: Agere Systems unveils BluOnyx Mobile Content Server for Mobile Devices
Posted by Arne Hess - on Wednesday, 24.01.07 - 19:00:12 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 10401x
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Today, 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 TV screens.

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.

Rüdiger 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 decoding capability.

Features:

  • 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.

Version 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 Bluetooth.

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 engine and 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 corporate website.

Cheers ~ Arne


 
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