South Koran firm Ezmax will ship an MP3 player that lets its users make and receive telephone calls using VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) in May.
Announced at Hanover's Cebit, Ezmax' EZMP4200P contains software so that when the device is linked to an Internet-connected PC using USB 2.0 port, people can make local and international calls using a built-in microphone.
When the device is connected to a desktop or notebook PC, it appears on screen as a removable disk icon. When the icon is double clicked, dialling software appears, enabling the user to make calls, he said.
Users need to sign up with a VOIP provider. The company is talking to providers in South Korea, Germany and other European countries to sign agreements that will enable the company to adjust the software in the device to the software used by the providers, Lee said.
The device's software is presently compatible with Microsoft's Windows 2000 and later editions. Ezmax is considering making the player's software compatible with Mac OS X operating system.
The device is 70 millimetres long, 24mm in diameter, and weighs 24 grams without the AAA-size battery. As well as MP3 music files, it plays a number of other formats including WMA (Windows Media Audio), ASF (Advanced Systems Format) and Ogg. The device is capable of voice recording, comes with an FM radio and has a two-colour (blue and yellow) 128-x-64 pixel OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) screen.
The device is available in three models, each with a different flash memory-based storage capacity: 256MB, 512MB and 1GB.
The company aims to launch the product in South Korea and European countries in May. The entry level unit will cost about $150.