RealTime IT News

Sony Launches eMarker

In the latest example of technology designed to link online and offline media consumption, Sony today unveiled its eMarker product in the U.S., in time for the holiday season.

In its current form, the eMarker serves as a timestamping device, allowing users to mark a song they hear on the radio by pressing a button on the keychain-like eMarker while the song is playing.

Users, once home, connect the device to their PCs, and log into the eMarker Web site. The site determines which songs were bookmarked by matching radio station playlists with the time the bookmark was created.

Consumers can then purchase the artist's albums from an online retailer.

Eventually, devices like the eMarker will be used to mark commercials heard on the radio, allowing users to get more information about products advertised.

As technology improves, products like the eMarker will benefit from integrating multiple media streams -- besides radio -- into their products.

Analysts also predict the devices will eventually enable users to purchase advertised songs immediately, saving them directly into personal devices like portable media players. Similarly, the market for wearable network interfaces is also expected to grow, with devices able to record promotions in newspapers, broadcast media and online, and redeem those at e-tailers or retail stores.

However, questions remain about the immediate viability of products like the eMarker. The eMarker's chief competitor, Xenote, went out of business earlier this month, even though its product, the iTag, functioned similarly to the eMarker and its platform included the ability to mark ads.

The eMarker is available for purchase through eMarker.com, SonyStyle.com and Amazon.com.