Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Nikon intros web browser, video player, headset combo

Nikon is breaking its self-imposed mold as a producer of professional grade imaging products and venturing into PMP (personal media player) territory. This is definitely not the pocketable gear we’re use to carrying. In fact, this new gear is a totally departure from the conventional forms that PMPs take on.

The ‘Media Port’ UP300x media player is a self-contained headset unit - with a slight twist. Nikon has turned what could have been a run-of-the-mill headset into one-of-a-kind wearable computer.

They’ve achieved this status by... including Wi-Fi connectivity and mounting a retractable display on the headset. This minuscule monitor drops down in front of one eye and supplies the viewer with 640x480 video goodness. The display tucks away for music playback, or for when you’re not into looking like a robot.

The dropdown display allows owners to watch videos while on foot or on public transportation, without being entirely oblivious to their surrounding. Though, maintaining a brisk stroll with the viewer engaged seems like it would take some practice.

Embedded Wi-Fi supports web browsing with Flash and JavaScript, as well as media purchasing directly from an online store.

Another nicety on the highest-end model, which makes for a truly hands free experience, are motion sensors that activate the player’s basic controls and browsing capabilities.

Nikon is keeping this one on the island of origin, for now, launch is set for mid-December and prices are $685 for the 8GB, and $490 for the 4GB.

Supported media formats include: MPEG-1, MPEG-2, and WMV for videos, and AAC, MP3, and WMA for audio tracks.