Sony Rolly: whatever happened to just listening to music?

Sony Rolly

The Sony Rolly is described as being “for those who want to experience music through movement.”

In other words once you turn it on and select music it flashes lights and starts to roll and spin in time to the music.

So for $400 you get a lump of plastic with only 2GB of memory that you have to chase around the room when you want to change songs or turn it off (and turning it off would be at the top of my list as soon as I saw one).

Why? why would you buy this? I wouldn’t buy this with $20 of someone else’s money.

Press release follows.

Sony Rolly via ubergizmo

“SAN DIEGO, May 20 /PRNewswire/ — For those who want to experience
music through movement, Sony’s Rolly music entertainment player, a
palm-sized, egg-shaped device that rolls and spins like it’s dancing to the
music, is now available at Sony Style retail stores nationwide.

Spawned from Sony portable audio technology and innovations in
artificial intelligence, along with the company’s design and entertainment
legacy, this device provides a unique combination of music, motion and fun.

“Rolly has the ability to attract your attention as soon as you turn it
on,” said Brennan Mullin, vice president of marketing for audio at Sony
Electronics. “It’s a tremendous example of what can happen when
entertainment and technology merge.”

Clear Sound by Sony’s Audio Technologies

Made for producing superb audio quality, Rolly features 180-degree,
horizontally opposed stereo speakers. As a result, listeners can enjoy high
quality sound from nearly anywhere in the room.

Sound reverberates from the surface the device is placed on, whether on
a desk or on the floor. With a digital amp for high sound quality and
speakers with neodymium magnets, powerful audio performance is delivered
from the compact unit.

Rolly Brings Music to Life

With built-in robotic technologies, the device is designed to move its
small arms, shoulders and wheels-six moving parts-to the beat of the music.
With about 700 colors in its repertoire, lighting adds to the impact of the

The Rolly device comes with choreography for three songs: “Also Sprach
Zarathustra” (theme from “2001 — A Space Odyssey”), Avril Lavigne’s
“Girlfriend” and Earth Wind and Fire’s “Boogie Wonderland.” It can be
powered up to play music and dance immediately right out of the box. Two
additional tracks have been included to demonstrate how motion can be
integrated into the listening experience.

Bringing out the Inner Choreographer

To choreograph an original routine, the unit comes with Rolly
Choreographer software. Motions can either be created automatically by the
software for a specific song, or for a creative twist, you can create
customized choreography for your favorite music. Once choreography has been
created, the software simulates how the device will move so you can preview
the dance moves on a PC before transferring the routine to the unit.

After creating original dance routine programs, users can share
choreography with others in the Rolly Go forum. Using the choreographer
software, motion files can be uploaded or downloaded online from this site.
Found at, click on the Rolly Go icon to access the
community and see what others have created.

Designed for Motion

The device’s simple, clean, cable-less design lets it move freely on
smooth surfaces. It is easy to change songs or control the volume by
turning the wheels while the unit is on a surface or holding it in your
hand. Shaking the device switches its music play to shuffle mode.

The player also contains Bluetooth(R) technology for wirelessly
streaming music from a compatible PC or mobile phone.

Tiny Flash Entertainer

With 2GB flash memory, the player can store up to 520 songs for songs
of an average of four minutes in length at 128kbps in the MP3 format. The
battery life allows up to five hours of music playback and up to four hours
of music and motion together on a single charge. The player supports
non-secure AAC and MP3 formats.

Dance Off

Sony’s Rolly entertainment player and Grammy(TM)-nominated R&B
singer/dancer, Omarion, have teamed up for a dance off between man and
machine. Omarion is known for his dance style and choreography that blends
popping, locking, waving and break dance movement. You will soon be able to
watch a dance off between the device and Omarion at”

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