Sony shows off unique Rolly audio entertainment player

Rolly, a unique new audio entertainment player from Sony is capable of twisting and turning while playing music and will go on sale in Japan on Sept. 29

Now you don't have to dance to your favorite tunes -- your audio player can dance for you.

Rolly, a unique new "audio entertainment player" from Sony, is capable of twisting and turning while playing music. The player, which Sony has been teasing for the last couple of weeks, is egg-shaped and can fit into a hand.

It has speakers on each end that are normally hidden by dish-like covers, but the covers move to reveal the speakers and reflect their sound when the Rolly is switched on.

There's just one button on the player -- an on/off switch -- with the other functions being controlled by a pair of rings that circle its body.

One ring is used to move from track to track or album to album while the other controls the volume. The same two rings are connected to motors that enable the Rolly to scoot around a table-top in time to the music being played. Alternatively it can be set to sit motionless. In that case it's possible to control the Rolly by moving it back and forth to switch tracks, or in a circular motion to increase or decrease the volume.

Rolly has 1G byte of flash memory built-in and can playback MP3, Atrac or AAC songs (AAC songs with copy protection from iTunes Music Store aren't supported). In addition to playing back music from its internal memory the Rolly can also receive music streamed via a Bluetooth connection.

Sony demonstrated the device running with its "Sonic Stage" software but Rolly will accept streams from other software and devices capable of Bluetooth streaming, the company said.

Rolly's movements need to be preprogrammed into the device for each track. There are six that are possible. The dish-like speaker covers can flap in and out, the ends of the device to which the speaker covers are attached can twist around and the wheels can turn. With just these six motions is possible to program a surprisingly complicated sequence of moves.

Sony will supply a software application called "Motion Editor" for move-by-move choreography or a rough set of moves can be automatically generated. The latter won't necessarily match in detail the music being played but it's a much quicker way of setting the Rolly in motion that programming by hand.

Sony also plans to launch an online community where the company and users can share movement files.

Users should get about five hours of audio playback from Rolly. This drops to four hours when the device is in motion and three and a half hours when Bluetooth streaming is also enabled.

The Rolly isn't an iPod-killer nor is it meant to be. At a relatively heavy 300 grams and measuring 104 millimeters long and 65 millimeters in circumference the player is not very practical for those wanting a portable audio player. But it is certainly unique and likely to be a talking point whenever people see it.

It will go on sale in Japan on Sept. 29 and cost about YEN 40,000 (AU$425). Sony has yet to decide plans for an international launch.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?