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Zeemote Exclusive: Standalone price and BlackBerry demo

Zeemote Exclusive: Standalone price and BlackBerry demo
Technology firm Zeemote has revealed the standalone price of its JS1 Bluetooth controller, as well as the packaging which it'll be sold in through mobile retail channels.

The controller will be sold for 39 Euros in Europe, and $39 in the US as a standalone boxed product, according to VP of sales and business development Jim Adams.

Zeemote was demoing the JS1 at the ShowStoppers event in Barcelona, on the eve of the Mobile World Congress trade show.

Up until now, the controller has only been available as part of handset bundle deals from operators in selected countries.

He was keeping mum about exact details of when it'll go on sale as a standalone accessory, as well as how many games will be bundled with it. Still, here's how the packaging will look (this example was for Vodafone):



Zeemote is clearly forging a decent relationship with Nokia - also being demoed on the company's stand was the Zeemote JS1 being used to control Nokia N-Gage games, via the company's Zeekey application.

What's more, they were using the Nokia handset's TV-Out port to show how N-Gage game Asphalt 3: Street Rules could be played on a big screen:






Once installed on a handset, Zeekey can control all its functions - Java and N-Gage games, but also navigating around regular menus.

And this is where the even more exciting part comes in. Zeemote announced plans to release a BlackBerry SDK in October last year, but ShowStoppers tonight was the first glimpse of the Zeemote actually being used with a BlackBerry handset - again, via the Zeekey app.

Watch the video below to see how it goes - as Adams points out, it's pre-alpha, so not yet finished:






The big deal about the Zeekey app is that it allows the Zeemote to control all the functions of a device, including games - in other words, developers no longer have to incorporate the Zeemote API into their games - a phone with Zeekey installed simply maps the controller onto the keypad.

As Adams explains in the video above: "That opens up both a legacy opportunity with all the games out there and already sold. It opens up a much more expansive opportunity on the consumer side."

He also says that Zeekey and BlackBerry integration will be really important in the US, because it's the first time the Zeemote has been able to interface with BREW games.

Big changes afoot, in other words. We'll be sitting down with new Zeemote CEO Ernie Cormier later this week at Mobile World Congress for a full interview on the company's plans.

Stuart is a freelance journalist and blogger who's been getting paid to write stuff since 1998. In that time, he's focused on topics ranging from Sega's Dreamcast console to robots. That's what you call versatility. (Or a short attention span.)

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