Thursday I received, as an evaluation unit, a Sony Mylo via the folks at Trinity Convergence whose voice engine software is embedded in the device. The Mylo has turned out to be an interesting personal companion and nothing has changed my opinion that this could be for Sony in the 2000’s what the Walkman was for them in the late 80’s.
The Mylo merges personal entertainment and personal communications into one device. I expect I will be learning its many features over the next couple of weeks but a few initial comments:
- That blue ring around the right side is not an illusion; it indicates that it has an active WiFi connection.
- It is a device through which a group of friends can maintain ongoing remote contact, whenever they are in WiFi range, sharing music, pictures and video, talking and IM’ing. (The agreement with T-Mobile in the U.S. is an ingenious piece of marketing.)
- On our first Mylo-to-Mylo call this evening with Andy Abramson, who bought one today, we both remarked it had the best Skype voice quality either of us has experienced. Suffice it to say that, remotely, Andy got right inside my head! (I have yet to decide if that is good or bad <gr>.)
- The Skype experience on a stand alone WiFi device has been all positive. The user interface and Skype feature set is much more intuitive and feature rich than on those Skype WiFi phones. It reinforces my recommendation that Skype move beyond the simple Skype WiFi phones, especially given that the Mylo can handle both the voice communications, instant messaging and file transfer inherent to legacy Skype.
- Is there some irony that you can only IM with the embedded GTalk capability? (Same for the Yahoo Messenger)
The marketing challenge for Sony will be to transition the iPod generation from a pure multimedia device to an Internet-enabled communications and multimedia companion. More to follow once I have explored more of its features.
Note for fellow Canadians: I probably have the only Mylo outside Sony Canada’s offices (and even all their employees have not heard of it); it has not yet been introduced outside the U.S. Two issues re Canadian availability (and probably for any other country outside the U.S. as well):
- They need to negotiate the Canadian rights with respect to music that can be bought through the Mylo’s Sonic Stage store. This was also an issue that delayed the introduction of the iPod in Canada
- To facilitate market penetration they need to negotiate a WiFi arrangement similar to the T-Mobile arrangement in the U.S. with the Canadian Hotspot consortium.
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