June 1, 2005 Merchants of people mobility (also known as auto manufacturers) have been a little slow getting their brain cells wrapped around where the MP3 fits into the grand scheme of selling automobiles. The unanimous first step appears to be offering an iPod integration/interface kit, as VW, GM, Volvo, BMW, Mini and Mercedes have all done so and we expect more to follow. Curiously, Mercedes Benz has just released stylish Mercedes Benz wristwatch incorporating an MP3 player, voice recorder and 512Mb of flash memory capacity, becoming the second auto manufacturer to have such a watch.
The Mercedes-Benz MP3 watch comes with the logical practical accessories such as earplugs, a headphone adapter, a USB extension cable, a mains adapter and a useful online manual and is part of the Mercedes-Benz “Edition B” Collection, and will be available at the beginning of June for the market launch of the new B-Class.
The Mercedes watch is actually produced by German high-tech watch manufacturer Laks which manufactures watches that track the phases of the moon, fertility cycles and even facilitate secure online transactions.
Laks also makes BMW’s version of this watch and not surprisingly, it sells its own version that comes without a Mercedes badge, but does come with 1Gb of memory (compared to the Merc’s 512MB).
The USB socket integrated into the strap makes it very easy to connect the MP3 watch with a PC or laptop and it works seamlessly with WinME/2000/XP and you can check out the online manual here.
The Mercedes-Benz MP3 watch has a flash memory with a capacity of 512 MB – enough for eight hours of MP3s. If the watch is connected with a PC via the USB socket, the Li-ion battery is automatically charged. The charging time is a maximum of 2 hours.
An integral microphone and voice recorder enable voice recordings with a duration of up to 36 hours to be made, which is very handy functionality – it’s not all that long ago that such functionality was beyond the capabilities of the most expensive spy watches while now it hardly rates a mention. Just the same, it could prove very handy for some professionals (e.g. journalists), or anybody who wants a permanent record of conversations.
The 1.5-metre long earplug cable allows the greatest possible freedom of movement even when engaging in sporting activities.
The MP3 watch also provides a fairly significant and secure mobile memory capacity. Most USB flash memory sticks do not have security of any form and are hence a very vulnerable way of carrying business information as they are easily misplaced. Whatever text, graphics, spreadsheets and presentations are being carried, there’s at least the security of knowing the data is strapped to your wrist rather than floating in a pocket.