iPod

Phonautograph recording of the oldest sound

Most gadgets that I write about are at the fore-front of technology. This Phonautograph, arguably, doesn't look like such a device at first glance:

But in 1860, when Parisian inventor Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville used his device to record Au Claire de la Lune, it was definitely cutting-edge technology, as his device predates Thomas Edison's work by 17 years. One recording from the above device has now been recovered and can be downloaded as an MP3 file almost 150 years later, and subsequently be played on your computer, or even your iPod or iPhone.

See the related press release and also the First Sounds website and this article on MSNBC for more details...

Sony announces the Rolly music gadget today: a dancing iPod killer-wannabe?

Sony officially announced a new cross-breed between robot and MP3 player today (so far in Japan only). The Rolly is a hand-sized device that not only plays your tracks but also dances to the music. In other words, it's a dancing iPod killer-wannabe...

An off-spring of the now defunct Sony Aibo robotic dog division, the Rolly uses robotics to "flap its wings" and "roll around" to the beat of the music.

I must admit that I've always been a big fan of robotics. Case in point: in addition to two (live, real-world) cats, we also have two Sony Aibos in our home (an early first generation version and the last and final third generation model). And I do, of course, also own the Lego Mindstorms Robotics system (again both the original and the NXT generation) and my son and I love to program them.

Robotics and XML have been very connected, too: every since the creation of RoboML in 2001this XML Aficionado has followed those endeavors closely and was delighted to learn this summer how to interface the Microsoft Robotics Studio and Lego Mindsotrms NXT using XML manifests.

But when it comes to MP3 players I've been a big iPod fan for years now, and I somehow doubt that a dancing iPod is something that would tickle my fancy.

But then again, even though I have a Facebook profile by now, I may not exactly be the target audience (or age group) that Sony has in mind...

A video of the device has previously been leaked some 11 days ago and can be seen on YouTube:


Our cats have always been very skeptical of the Sony Aibo dogs - but I can't even imagine how they will react when they see the new Sony Rolly...

This news also seen on Engadget and even in the Wall Street Journal...