The Wind-Up iPod: Trevor Baylis' Eco Media Player
The iconic iPod music player has for many years been challenged by new so-called iPod Killer products entering the market. The Eco Media Player is unlikely to be one of those. But it does add a new dimension to the genre.
The media player bit comes into play as the unit is a video player, music player, fm radio, LED torch, photo viewer, hi-fi recorder, memo recorder, data storage device and a mobile phone charger. The eco prefix is applied because it does all of this without need of replacement batteries. Power comes simply from winding a fold-out handle on the rear of the unit (or, if you want, charging it via USB cable to your computer). 40 minutes of audio play requires one minute of self powering.
An onboard lithium ion battery has a maximum playtime of 20 hours. Audio will play back in mp3, wma, asf, wav, ogg formats (no mention of aac, the iPod default). The 1.8" colour screen shows videos in asv (and wmv, avi, mpeg, after conversion) and photos as jpeg, bmp, gif images. With 2GB of built-in memory the media reader supports SD cards to increase this. Microsoft Windows seems to be the supported operated system when connected to computers with no indication of compatibility with Macs. Sells for £155 in the UK, and $425 in Australia.If you’re wondering who Trevor Baylis is, he was the British inventor that created the original wind-up radio, as a way of getting information on HIV/AIDS to remote African villagers. The success of that project spawned the brand Freeplay, who have dominated the self powered device market for the past decade.
Trevor looks like he is re-entering that market with this product. Inventors John and Tony Davies approached his ideas incubator company and Trevor so liked what he saw he lent his name to not only the Eco Media Player, but an accompanying line of self-powered eco-products under the moniker of New Generation. There are lanterns, head torches, radios, bicycle lights, etc. Tango in the UK carry the full range. ::Eco Media Player via Multi-Powered Products