Sony to unveil wireless Internet device

Sony is hoping to tap into the growth of wireless networks across college campuses, public spaces and within homes, with a new pocket-sized gadget for instant messaging and other Internet-based communications, an Associated Press report said.

The report, quoting a statement from Sony, said Sony's "mylo," which stood for "my life online," was slated for availability in September at a retail price of about $350.

A first-of-its-kind product that used Wi-Fi networks, Sony said the gadget was not a mobile phone, and thus did not carry monthly service fees. Although it could handle Web-based email services, it did not support corporate email programs.

Instead, the slim, oblong-shaped gizmo that has a 2.4-inch display and slides open to expose a thumb keyboard is specifically geared toward young, mainstream consumers for messaging and Internet-based calls, according to Sony.

As long as a Wi-Fi network was accessible, a mylo user could chat away or browse the Web, Sony said, adding that the device would be marketed toward 18- to 24-year-olds.

Sony had partnered with Yahoo and Google to integrate their instant-messaging services, and was looking to expand mylo's support to other services, the report said.

Sony had also teamed up with eBay's Skype VoIP service, which offered free voice chats for its registered users, the report further said.