I recently had my 15 questions with Bob Guenther of Agere systems about the recently announced BluOnyx Mobile Content Server. The BluOnyx is an advanced memory stick with some cool features for when you’re on the move. You can access the contents of a BluOnyx with your cell phone over WiFi and Bluetooth, as well as stream video to PMPs and cell phones. To sum up the BluOnyx allows you to:
- copy, backup and store data like a regular memory stick
- copy data wirelessly from your cell phone or portable media players for backup to BluOnyx
- stream video or other media to single or multiple cell phones from BluOnyx
- connect your Bluetooth cell phone to the internet via BluOnyx
I like the idea of this for taking videos or music on the move and being able to access them anywhere. For example, If I see a video, vodcast or podcast online that I want to share with people I can download it to the BluOnyx and let a few friends watch it simultaneously on their cell phones.
Bob Guenther didn’t seem to want to give much away about Agere’s plans for the BluOnyx, nor did he really want to talk about anything that wasn’t Agere or BluOnyx related. He wouldn’t tell me what other consumer electronics companies he respected, what he thought of DRM, or even what other gadgets he liked!
Bob also seemed to be unaware of new competition from SeaGate: the recently announced and oddly named DAVE which is very similar to the BluOnyx.
Here is the interview with Bob about the BluOnyx Mobile Content Server:
1. How would you prefer to describe the BluOnyx:
– An advanced WiFi media memory stick
– The ultimate portable storage solution or a
– Mobile Content Server?
We felt Mobile Content Server captures the essence of the product, but clearly two or three words can’t encapsulate all it can do.
2. Describe the person who would benefit the most from a BluOnyx?
Anyone who is frustrated by today’s isolated ecosystems for devices and wants to move data seamlessly across device platforms for storage, streaming, or sharing.
3. Would a BluOnyx replace my need for a Portable Media Player (PMP) since I can just use my cell phone or is it designed to compliment my PMP?
It is designed to compliment your PMP since BluOnyx has only two buttons — a power button and a button to permit others (non-owners) to access it via Bluetooth and WiFi.
4. Have you signed any big distribution deals as yet? Do you have any details?
We are in active discussions with device makers and service providers.
5. Which other single consumer electronics company do you most respect?
I don’t know that this is relevant.
6. Describe how BluOnyx will fit in with the internet TV revolution?
BluOnyx certainly could be an enabling device.
7. Other than the BluOnyx, what’s your favorite handheld gadget?
There are many.
8. What do you think of DRM?
BluOnyx will be DRM compliant.
9. It’s been mentioned before that to be successful the BluOnyx needs to interface well with television sets and 2) play back DRM-ed content. Do you plan to do this?
10. What other long term plans do you have for BluOnyx features?
Stay tuned. We’re in dialogue with the universe of users and actively incorporating their suggestions into our roadmap for the product.
11. Who do you consider to be your biggest competition?
Hard to say, since there is no other product quite like BluOnyx.
12. What do you consider to be the most exciting thing to come out of MacWorld or CES this year (other than the BluOnyx)?
Unfortunately, I wasn’t at MacWorld and barely was able to leave our booth at CES. I defer to others such as yourself who probably have a better perspective.
13. When it comes to connecting a BluOnyx to a PC can you just simply drag and drop files onto the BluOnyx as you would do normally or do you need special software?
Yes, you can drag and drop.
14. If I wanted to synch up a Podcast or a Web TV RSS feed (vodcast), to automatically download to the BluOnyx when it is downloaded what would I do?
I don’t know the precise steps, since we’re still working on version 1.0. Conceptually, it should be very simple.
15. When can I get one and how much will it cost?
Once again, stay tuned.
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