Motorola Launches au BOX Multimedia Set Top Box

In our continuing coverage of technologies that are enabling convergence and mobility, we have news from Motorola that they're serious in their commitment to capitalizing on convergence and connectivity in the multimedia living room of tomorrow.  Dubbed the au BOX (case sensitive, please...), Motorola plans to enable customers to take their multimedia content with them on their cell phone.  KDDI, a major mobile carrier in Japan plans to offer the au BOX service first which will allow subscribers to tap into their personal music, video and image libraries, while on the road.  And with the help of a setup box?  You are correct, sir. Unfortunately the roll-out is only in Japan at this time but perhaps this is a glimpse of things to come...

Motorola au BOX -  courtesy: Motorola, Inc

Motorola’s aim is to deliver seamlessly connected networks and solutions to enable new service creation for operators and to offer rich media experiences for the consumer,” said Dan Moloney, executive VP and president of Motorola’s Home and Networks Mobility business. “This new set top platform is a significant step forward for Motorola in the progress towards our vision of media mobility. Consumers increasingly want to access their content where and when it is convenient to them and Motorola is accelerating the delivery of these personalized media experiences by giving end users great choice and control over how and where they choose to consume their content.

The set top being implemented by KDDI also features a CD player and CD ripping capabilities to allow users to rip CDs from their personal collections, automatically retrieve CD information, store the files in their music libraries and then transfer them to a mobile handset or to a portable media player via USB. In addition, music from a CD, mobile handset, or portable media player can be played by the set top through its integrated stereo speakers.


The au BOX will be based on Motorola's KreaTV software platform for content creation and distribution.  Image courtesy of Motorola, Inc.

Motorola’s advanced set top platform is based on Motorola’s state-of-the-art KreaTV™ open software platform for set-top devices. KreaTV is designed to enable operator customers to easily add new functionality and services at any time, allowing the system to grow according to their business needs and customer demands. KreaTV is compatible with a wide range of OS middleware and Digital Rights Management (DRM), and supports multiple different video formats ranging from MPEG-2 SD to H.264 HD, DVR, and hybrid.

There's that nasty three letter acronym again but hey, at least you can rip your bought and paid for CDs. Think they'll add a DVD burner eventually? Regardless, it looks like the good folks at Opera are in on the action too.  Update:  What this thing really needs is an IPTV hookup.  Otherwise, it looks rather Slingboxesque.