Along with the introduction of the ultra sleek Nokia N9 smartphone with a 3.9" AMOLED touchscreen protected by curved Gorilla glass, two innovative accessories were also launched to take advantage of the N9's built-in Near Field Communication (NFC) chip, though they are not exclusive to Nokia devices thanks to built-in Bluetooth connectivity. Who knows, you could be rocking out to music on your iPad2 via a Nokia product!
Nokia Play 360: Portable Speaker
You can't tell from this photo but these wireless speakers push out omnidirectional sound (hence the name) so they are not one-directional like most speakers. But that's not the coolest part about the Play 360 speakers. Although you only need one speaker to play music from your NFC-capable phone, you could pair two together for a more balanced sound by connecting the speakers wirelessly using Bluetooth or via a standard 3.5 mm audio connector. To link your phone with an embedded NFC chip to the speaker, simply tap the phone against the speaker for instant amplification.
According to the video demo of the accessory, if you receive an incoming call while you're blasting your music away, the speaker will automatically mute the music while you take your call. The speaker looks like it is about the size of a desktop computer speaker but I don't think it's compact enough that I would bring it along on vacation as the video suggests. The Play 360 Speaker will work with any phone, laptop or other mobile device with Bluetooth connectivity, but is NFC-capable for devices like the N9. Its built-in battery is apparently good for 20 hours of music and could be recharged via a micro USB cord. The speaker is expected to ship by the third quarter and will cost approximately $214 US each.
Nokia Wireless Music Receiver MD-310 for Hi-Fi Systems
For those who want to enjoy the music stored on their device properly through their Hi-Fi system, the Nokia Wireless Receiver MD-310 is ideal as it uses apt-x to offer "the exact same audio quality you'd experience from a wired system, giving perfect CD quality," according to Nokia's blog. The receiver looks about the size of a stack of coasters, and can blend right in with your home theater gear. (Watch this video to get a better idea of how it works.)
The receiver connects to the audio system via a standard 3.5 mm audio jack and RCA adapter, and can link to your computer, tablet or even phone using Bluetooth as long as it is within 100 meters. Like the Play 360 speaker, the wireless receiver has a built-in NFC chip so it can also pair with another NFC-capable device with just a tap. The MD-310 will cost around $84 US and will also ship in the third quarter this year.
[Source: Nokia's Conversations Blog]
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