This is a surprise. At CES today, AOL and China-based manufacturer Haier rolled out their upcoming 30GB Smartscreens Media Device, a portable media player equipped with a laptop-esque touch pad, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi.
The all-metal PMP is “about the size of an iPod” and supports MPEG-4 and WMV videos and likely the typical set of audio formats (MP3, WMA, WMA-DRM), including those purchased and downloaded directly onto the device from the likes of Rhapsody, Napster, and Yahoo! over a wireless 802.11g connection.
An unnamed Internet-based service obviously (though unofficially) provided by AOL will somehow offer music suggestions while users of the device are listening to their tunes. How this will work is unclear, though we hope the option to be notified of song titles, albums, and other artists the system thinks we’d be interested in can be turned off. The device will also support free streaming Internet radio stations, which we assume will be exempt from all the suggestion-receiving fun.
Under the hood of the Smartscreens Media Device is an open-source application framework, codenamed SmartScreens, created by Tegic Communications (an AOL company) that runs on top of the unit’s operating system. If you can’t wait until the device is released later this year (second or third quarter), hop on over to SmartScreens Mobile to check out a video of the player in action.
[via PC Magazine]