Words and pixels by M. Scott Smith

Uh... Yeah, that will work. 🔗

I was a big fan of Sony's Aibo robot and the talented engineers who made it (before they got axed by Sony's management), but when Sony killed their robotics group, most of the engineers left for greener pastures (e.g., Toyota, Honda). It seems Sony found something to do with the few who stayed. Today, they finally unveiled their new Sony Rolly SEP-10BT "Sound Entertainment Player," which, surprisingly, the media is not terming an "iPod Killer." (Has the media lost their passion? I thought every new MP3 player was termed an "iPod Killer." Remember the Zune, anyone?)

Check out the Rolly video at the end of this Engadget story. I don't mean to be mean, but the actor family showcased in this video is -- in a word -- pathetically easily entertained (OK, that's three words). The video is hilarious, although it isn't meant to be.

I like to see companies being innovative, but I really don't see a market for this. People don't watch their music, they listen to it passively. Watching the Rolly move around to the music would be fun for a song or two but then quickly tire. It's just like the visualizer in iTunes -- when that first came out I had fun watching it for a few minutes, but I haven't used it since.

Now, if Sony and Microsoft could get together -- merging the Rolly and Zune into one complete product -- then we'd really have an iPod killer on our hands. Imagine: the new Zollies would be able to roll to each other to squirt songs back and forth, which could then be played up to three times before the user would be prompted to purchase the song, using a powerful combination of Microsoft and Sony DRM technologies. As the brown Zollies roll around the ground, they would also be camouflaged, making it more difficult for humans to compassionately stomp them out of existence. I'm telling you, the Zolly -- it could be big! Well, until the battery runs out. And -- I really don't want to plant ideas in Sony's head or anything -- but if the Zolly detected music that did not have extensive DRM, it could simply roll away from its owner, heading straight for a freeway or something. This would please NBC immensely.

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