When I visited Circuit City today to purchase their last iRiver T10, my eyes were immediately drawn to a new mp3 device on the shelf: the Sony mylo.

Sony Mylo

This is not “merely” an mp3 player, however, any more than the iPhone (when it is released in June) is going to be “just” an iPod. Like the iPhone, the mylo (which stands for “my life online”) enables users to:

  1. Connect to available WiFi networks
  2. Instant message friends
  3. Check and send email
  4. Browse the web
  5. Make phone calls
  6. Listen to digital music
  7. Watch movies

Unlike the iPhone, the mylo ONLY supports WiFi connections. I was amused by the marketing sign by the actual mylo on display:

Enjoy the Mylo at a K-12 U.S. School?

Enjoy instant messaging at school on an open WiFi network? The marketing folks for Sony must have not visited a K-12 U.S. school lately. Or maybe they are referring to “school” networks at universities. I’m interested to know if the device will support 802.1X authentication? If not, the device will be fairly useless on the campus WiFi network at Texas Tech. I’m guessing most other universities around the country are using a form of user-authenticated WiFi as well. Enjoy at Starbucks, yes. At school? Unlikely at any K-12 school, uncertain at universities.

Still, despite this shortcoming, the mylo does remind me a bit of a Star Trek communicator. Where’s the video camera? If mylo had one, that would really be a standout feature. As far as I can tell, the main differences from the iPhone (besides its price, which is $150 less) are:

  1. The mylo ONLY works on WiFi networks, and cannot connect alternatively to a cell phone 3G network. So that limits connectivity options. You can make phone calls with the mylo, but they are made using Skype.
  2. The iPhone is reportedly only going to support IM via SMS, but the mylo supports IM with three of the major IM networks: Yahoo, Skype and Google Talk. It does not support AIM or MSN, or SMS.
  3. Memory: According to the current WikiPedia article for the mylo, it comes with 1 GB of onboard memory and a memory stick pro expansion slot. The iPhone (at least at this point) is reportedly not expected to have an expansion card slot, but will come with either 4 GB or 8 GB of memory.

If you think technology gadgets are interesting and engaging now, just wait– I don’t think we’ve seen nuthin’ yet! “Captain Picard, this is Wesley calling from my handheld communicator on the other side of planet earth. Can you please beam me the specs on that common organism down here that we discussed yesterday in our pre-mission briefing: the ‘fear-driven and reactionary school administrator?’ There seem to be high concentrations of them here in North America.” 🙂

Star Trek

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