Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A Closer Look at the Sirius-Zing Wearable Device

June 28, 2006

www.siriusbackstage.com posted this informative article highlighting Sirius-Zing Partnership:

"A Look at ZING

Earlier this month we learned of SIRIUS’ partnership with digital media platform developer ZING. Rather than launching a “swiss-army-knife” radio, we predict SIRIUS has opted for an “it just works” philosophy, dramatically improving the out-of-the-box experience and focusing on ease-of-use and reliability. All of the power will be under the hood and seamless to the user.

ZING VP of Hardware Development Michael Gifford “believes a product needs to look as beautiful on the outside as it does on the inside.” Gifford had a hand in producing the Mac mini and the XBOX. To fully understand the SIRIUS-ZING collaboration, look no further than ZING CEO Tim Bucher. A former Apple Computer executive, Bucher headed up Macintosh Engineering, where he produced the Mac mini. Bucher was also directly involved in technology development for the iPod, and helped with Microsoft’s UltimateTV.

However, probably the most overlooked figure at ZING is visionary Arthur van Hoff. van Hoff was the guy who started Strangeberry, a Internet content distribution startup that was eventually acquired by TiVo. The beauty of Strangeberry, and the reason TiVo gobbled them up, is that “it will recognize incoming programming (JPEG images, video, MP3s, or whatever) and route it to the appropriate device in your living room.” This was the holy grail of the so-called “digital hub.”

Here’s some commentary on the top-secret Strangeberry:

So what are they really building? My best guess is that Strangeberry crew, all former Sun folks, developed a piece of software that actually makes finding devices on the home networks as easy as turning on the power switch. And it is using some variant of Apple’s Rendezvous technology. I remember these guys had released some variation of Rendezvous for Java in the early days of their operation. Rendezvous is a technology which can and does work with all sort of networks - Wi-Fi, Ethernet or powerline networks. After joining TiVo, van Huff launched TiVoToGo, a service that allows the transfer of shows from TiVo to personal computers and portable devices.

So, How does this all affect SIRIUS? The ZING platform is described as “the first portable audio and entertainment solution that can combine wireless and satellite radio capabilities.” With this in mind, we can only imagine the great engineering going on at ZING. The potential features of a ZING-enabled SIRIUS Radio may include:

Automatic roaming from Satellite to WiFi (hotspots become SIRIUS repeaters)
Always connected / Updates downloaded via the Internet
Timeshift SIRIUS shows / Download Songs
Automatic discovery of music on your network
Create dynamic playlists mixing the SIRIUS service and your personal music collection
A combination of TiVo’s simple-yet-powerful interface, recording capabilties, with Apple’s hip and minimal style, the SIRIUS-ZING Portable Media Player may be something out of this world.
Comment here.
Posted by TulaneJeff on Wednesday, June 28th, 2006 at 8:07 pm ET."

6/28/2006 09:41:00 PM

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