Special Report on Multimedia: Solutions still search for a problem: The battle to launch a new generation of multimedia products is starting in earnest, writes Steve Homer
Tuesday 13 October 1992
At the moment, people in Britain can only buy the rather chunky first generation player, but the company will launch three new models here within the next six weeks. The present player will play sound from a 3in disc (almost unobtainable in the UK) but not from Data Discman discs that incorporate sound. The new top range player will remedy this but will not provide the personal organiser functions available to the Japanese. At pounds 379.99 (pounds 30 more than the original player), it might be better to wait for a trip to Japan.
The other consumer player, which also supports audio, dispenses with the flip-open screen. Given that I managed to break the screen on my loaned machine, this model should be treated with care even if it costs 'only' pounds 279.99. The third machine has no display and is for use with a portable computer. But at pounds 299.99 it is more expensive than many full-function CD-ROM machines.
Other manufacturers, such as Panasonic, are coming into the market. As to software, there are now only 13 titles, with another four coming later this month. While some contain interesting information, they suffer from the Data Discman's limited interface. It is a fiddly thing to use.
Some otherwise useful titles are spoiled by their implementation. For example, the Time Out Guide to London has a fairly comprehensive restaurant listing and small maps of central London. Unfortunately, the technology cannot do the obvious: that is, show where the restaurant is on the map.
If the screen technology improves, the weight of the machine drops and the way you access information is refined, the Data Discman could be very useful. For the moment it is that classic electronics product - a solution looking for a problem.
Life & Style blogs
iPhone 7 (or iPhone 6S) leaked pictures show similarities to older model — but Apple is fixing the biggest issue of all
People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year, says study
Google has set its terrifying, dreaming image robots on the public
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
- 1 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 2 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 3 Van driver who comforted Clark Carlisle and called 999 after suicide attempt dies age 24
- 4 James Blunt was special guest on the highest-rating Top Gear episode ever
- 5 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The leading provider of Employee Managem...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Kent based design consulta...
£25000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking to work for an ...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This role's responsibility also include operat...