That's what's most interesting to me. Have we heard from anybody who's actually bought the player from a vending machine? This seems to me to be one of those cases where you don't actually need to do it to get the marketing value from it- all you need is to make a video of the idea. It's a more sophisticated form of "This Ad Was Banned!!"
I could be totally wrong, of course.
EDIT: To clarify, I'm saying I don't think Sony's actually selling their walkmans in bottles of water, they just made a video of the idea of it. Can anbody disconfirm this?
I imagine they probably have at least 1 real vending machine, but you're probably right in that the publicity of the story is worth 1000x the sales from the vending machine
The video probably has a higher return on investment than actually stocking some machines with it, but I can still see it being worth it to stock some vending machines in highly visible places with it.
I've seen the same hardware spitting our arduinos and the like at hackerspaces. If you're worried about mechanical damage we have food vending machines at work that operate via locking sliding doors.
More easy for countries where it is supported everywhere, rather than regionally. But also possible to target vending machines in transit areas, since a lot of public transport has moved over to smart cards.
(the US really needs to get rid of their dollar bill if they expect all these incarnations of the dollar coin to finally catch on)
That would presumably give Sony the ability to remotely wipe content from the device, which I can't help but imagine them abusing with maniacal glee.
They were in a vending machine at my gym last month! Apparently the promo was only for 30 days, but in that time they did sell a few (according to the guy that works there). I saw some guys wearing them (since the gym is above the swimming pool so you can look down) and it works without a smartphone. I'm pretty sure the water is drinkable as well.
Pretty bizarre that people had to put cash in to buy it though. I don't remember there being a Eftpos terminal at all.
Strange this just popped up today though, since I haven't seen any of these vending machines around in the last few weeks.
On a side note, do a lot of people really listen to music while swimming? In college I used to do 30 minutes of laps in the pool a couple times a week. I liked doing it precisely because you couldn't listen to music and you'd have to focus on keeping good form. It was just you and the water.
"I'm not weird, I'm an early adopter."
Challenges I see:
- Cords get tangled really easily due to the nature of the sport (Solution - make them completely in ear)
- Bulkiness slows you down or at least presents issues when they fall out (see solution 1)
- There is no easy way to control volume or change the song (solution - perhaps use something in your mouth to "chew" on to change these parameters maybe?)
Swimming (especially the 3-4k I do almost daily) can be painfully dull, so the demand is sort of there, but it seems the amount of tech involved far outweighs the presumed benefit (and therefore demand).
I'm with you: I prefer being present and in the pool when swimming. One of the things I dislike about gyms is the (almost always crap) music played.
Well, as far as I know this wasn't really possible without getting some expensive equipment (both player and earbuds). Not that I really searched for it, but just nobody does it (and so nobody even thinks of doing this or searches for it).
Seeing how many people listen to music in the gym or while jogging, I wouldn't be surprised if there was an uptick in listening to music while swimming now. Although, I haven't actually clicked the link yet, they may need to ship earbuds/headphones with it, and I don't know how well they work when they need to be watertight.
I would clip it to my goggle strap and swim about an hour a day 3 days a week back when I lived by a pool. The ipod shuffle really was an amazing form factor for the player as it had the clip built in which could clip to the straps.
The headphones were always a different story. You need specially made earbuds which a) use a waterproof membrane instead of a mesh for the speaker and b)fit tight enough in your ear so water wouldn't get in and fill the air chamber in front of the speaker. It took me 3 tries to find headphones that would stay in and be airtight.
It came with 3 sizes of earbuds, I had to use different sizes in each ear. They are terrible headphones, but they stayed put in the water.
Probably pretty terrible.
Swimming a mile or more is a chore simply because it gets boring. I would absolutely love a cheap(ish) and reliable mp3player to swim with.
In all fairness, the moment the video dove under water, I was like "oooh, sweet silence".
On the other hand, I always have fast upbeat pounding techno music on while running, and it really helps me.
I am not a morning person.
With low value:weight beverages, transport costs dominate manufacturing, so it is most economical to have many bottling facilities relatively close to consumers, at the cost of reduced manufacturing economy of scale. With electronics, manufacturing costs dominate transport costs, so it is most economical to centralize manufacturing, taking advantage of economy of scale.
Of course, sony could work with some drinks manufacturer to hybridize those supply chains, but I don't think there's value in doing this large scale. This is a (great!) marketing gimmick, and they can get most of the value by doing it one-off. There's not a lot of marginal value in scaling it out.
Bigger problem is that once you buy it, you still need to take it home, dry it off, and load music on it.
(I carefully put qualifiers in because this is just a rough rule of thumb and different altitudes etc make a difference).
But thanks for the information!
So even though the volume of a given mass of water might be temperature dependent because water expands if you heat it, the the volume of a given volume of water will always be exactly equal to that volume of water. Sort of like how a foot is always exactly 12 inches no matter what the weather report says.
But a liter is only another name for a cubic decimeter. The liter is older, and used to vary from place to place (and even measure area at some places), but now it on the IS.
[edit @snowman41: Yes I know "wet behind the ears" is another pun. I was asking whether "whoever came up with this" refers to the campaign or my comment.]
Gotta like a good pun!
1. This isn't US, so those rules don't apply ("a confectionery product with a non-nutritive object, partially or totally imbedded within it, cannot be sold within the United States")
2. This may be more a viral thing than an actual packaging.
3. The water may not really be meant to be drunk, it's just a gimmick.
... I wouldn't drink the water.
(In other words, I don't buy Sony products any more, since they insisted upon rootkitting their customers' computers some years ago.)
Happily I have a Sony mp3 player with 30 hours from a single charge.
edit: According to the tech specs it will get a 1 hour charge after the first 3 minutes of charging.
I have the previous water-resistant model and this seems about right.
That has made me happy, one more bit of Sony kit on the way :)
Water ? lame. What about vodka? At times like this I will side with General Ripper from Dr Strangelove. He never drank water, because the commies were poisoning it to pacify the West.
It's great technology has advanced so much we can do underwater selfies.
But the larger question is whether the water is actually potable, it being in vending machines after all!
But apparently HN commenters are not immune to being fooled...
How do I know so much about canning food? I can stuff you simply cannot buy in retail stores, like brandied fruits and the like. Very tasty!
The fear with electronics immersed in water would be some toxic substance or another leeching into the water. But the point of the waterproofing is to protect the electronics from the water, which should also protect the water from the electronics. If they do it right, it should just be aluminum, glass, plastic and rubber contacting the water. If they used a food safe rubber or plastic it's good to go.
The walkman needs to be safe for use in contact with the skin.
The water needs to be drinkable. Packaging directives look at things like phthalates in the bottle... but don't consider contents within the bottle which aren't part of the beverage or beverage serving mechanism.
So... they can, legally, pretty much do whatever the hell they want, as the Mp3 player does not need to be consumable, the water and bottle will be quantified as safe by themselves, and the thing as a whole (bottle + water) is just treated as packaging, so doesn't need to be consumable.
All in all it's the kind of thing that isn't quite covered by product safety standards, as it's so irregular.
How could I miss that?