January 24, 2005 Korean personal electronics manufacturer iRiver has released yet another convergent device onto its domestic market. The oddly-named Dicple is designed for travellers with voice recognition in four languages, language translation, text-to-speech, voice recording, MP3 player and FM radio. The combination of capabilities seems ideally suited to travellers, given that it appears capable of enabling communication between someone who speaks only one language and someone who speaks only another language in any mixture of English, Chinese, Japanese and Korean. The dictionary has a total 2.9 million word vocabulary covering the four languages, which should be enough to cover most conversations.
The oddly named Dicple (DICtionary Player - we're not sure where the "e" comes from, but we guess they decided against the obvious and avoided what could have easily been another unfortunate cross-cultural naming) is 138 x 106 x 18mm in size and weighs 245 grams, so it's not something you'll throw in your pocket just in case it comes in handy.
The Dicple, also to be known as the D10, has expandable memory via SD or MMC cards, is firmware upgradeable and plays MP3, WMA, and ASF files which can be loaded from a computer by USB (only USB 1.1).
The USB connection to the computer can also recharge the D10, and if the computer isn't available, the power can be supplied by two AAA batteries.
The D10 has a quite large 4.5-inch mono LCD screen (320x240 pixels) comes in black, orange, and red and began selling in Korea on January 14 for 297,000 Won (US$285)
There has been no information published on availability in other markets at this time which is a great shame because if it had an English interface (Korean only at present) it could be a fantastic low-cost way of understanding the locals when travelling in northern Asia.