May 8, 2001 5:30 PM PDT
Speak, Aibo, speak
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The most productive of the new software titles is the Aibo Messenger. The software works with a wireless LAN (local area network) card, allowing the Aibo ERS-210 to alert owners when a new message enters their PC's e-mail in-box. Aibo can then read the message aloud to the owner. The Aibo can also read text from pre-selected Web sites.
The software comes on a CD and is installed on a PC. The software converts text into sound files, which can be played by the second-generation Aibo ERS-210. The Messenger will be available in late July.
The ERS-210 costs $1,500. According to Sony, the consumer electronics giant has sold about 50,000 of its dogs in the past two years.
Aibo Navigator for the ERS-210 will be available on CD in late June. Navigator will allow owners to remotely control the Aibo using a PC. Owners will be able to dictate Aibo's movements and make it dance from about 300 feet away.
In April, Sony introduced a similar application called the Aibo Master Studio, which allowed owners to program dance and play routines on a PC and download them onto a Memory Stick, Sony's proprietary flash memory card, which is then inserted into an Aibo.
The third new software Sony will introduce is the Party Mascot for the first-generation Aibo. The first-generation Aibo will be able to play 11 games using the new software program, which is expected in early June.
The three software titles each cost $150 or less.