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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?