At CeBIT in Hannover, Ericsson demonstrates the MP3 Handsfree, one of the smallest MP3 players on the market and the first designed for use with a mobile phone. Ericsson also unveiled a 3-volt version of its popular Chatboard . As technology concepts, a camera, the CommuniCam, and a cashcard reader, the Cashboard, for mobile phones were shown.
The MP3 player from Ericsson lets you listen to near CD-quality audio through the stereo earpieces between calls. Ericsson recently launched a plug-in FM radio for mobile phones, which is already on the market. This plug-in MP3 Handsfree for mobile phones was showed for the first time at Telecom 99 in Geneva as a technology concept. Now, Ericsson has introduced it as a commercial product, which will be on the market mid 2000.
Incoming calls are channeled through both earpieces and the cord features a microphone to speak into and a button to answer calls with. If you listen to the music when you receive an incoming call, the sound from the player will automatically be muted and you may answer the call with the button on the cord. The MP3 Handsfree is completely controlled and powered by the mobile phone - no extra batteries or space consuming buttons or display. The Ericsson MP3 Handsfree is compatible with most of Ericsson's 3-volt phones.
The Ericsson MP3 Handsfree comes complete with a standard multimedia card where you can store approximately 30 minutes of your favorite music, and stereo earphones with portable handsfree functionality. An accompanying CD-ROM gives you all the software necessary to convert non-MP3 audio files to MP3 format. You can copy tracks from your favorite CDs via a PC on to the multimedia card as well as organize audio files in your own personal music database.
Ericsson also unveiled a new version of the Chatboard , which now also works with Ericsson's 3 volt-phones, such as T28 and R320. The Chatboard@ is a snap-on keyboard, which together with a mobile phone makes rapid messaging over SMS and e-mail possible, as well as editing a personal site on the Internet. The first version, launched in 1999, was for Ericsson's 4 volt-phones and will be available in the middle of 2000.
As a technology concept, Ericsson also demonstrated the CommuniCam, a small digital camera that makes image communication possible with Ericsson phones.
The camera can be used together with a mobile phone to send pictures to the Internet or to another mobile. Simply take the shot, attach the camera to an Ericsson phone and send the picture. The product is developed in cooperation with C-technologies, a company of which Ericsson owns 10 percent. Another accessory demo is the Cashboard, which is a plug-in cashcard reader for mobile phones. By simply inserting a cashcard in the Cashboard, one will get the cashcard balance displayed on the screen of the mobile phone. A future scenario could be that mobile commerce applications are made possible with a similar device.
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