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WowWee Adds New Features, Upgrades to Rovio Mobile Webcam

October 13th, 2009

Enhancements Include New Headlight Accessory, Simplified Setup Process, and Applications for Mobile Devices

HONG KONG – October 13, 2009 – WowWee, an Optimal Group company (NASDAQ:OPMR), has announced a new headlight accessory and several upgrades now available for the Rovio™ mobile webcam, a revolution in home exploration and telepresence. Rovio, a wireless Internet-controlled device, streams two-way audio and video via an easy-to-use web browser interface while its users direct it about a home or office environment remotely. The Rovio headlight, which enhances the ability to explore in dimly lit environments, snaps onto the device and is powered by Rovio’s rechargeable battery pack. Several software and security updates, including a setup tutorial video series, are also now available just in time for the holiday season, making Rovio and its new retail price of $229 a unique, yet affordable gift choice.

Rovio’s software suite has been updated, and now includes a new setup process for Macs, in addition to an enhanced setup process for PCs – both of which feature an installation wizard and easy-to-install software that automatically detects computer settings and guides users through the set-up process. The Rovio Software for PC now supports Windows Vista and includes automatic updates, an updated GUI, and general enhancements to the software. Rovio’s firmware has also been updated to include WPA and WPA2 password support, Universal Plug-and-Play (UPnP), an online status indicator, faster loading time, and general enhancements. Requiring no subscription fees or professional installation, Rovio features USB connectivity, runs off users’ existing wireless Internet connection, and can be set up to be protected by a login and password that the user creates, providing a more secure remote access to the home or office.

Rovio, which can be controlled remotely from anywhere in the world using a web-enabled device including a PC, Mac, cell phone or smartphone, PDA or video game console, bridges cultures, connects families, and redefines the virtual office. Multi-lingual instructional manuals and quick start guides have also been added to complement product availability, which is now international. The new multi-lingual instructional manual is available in six languages - English, Spanish, French, German, Dutch and Italian. Independent developers from around the globe also continue to explore Rovio as a pioneering telepresence device through the use its application programming interface (API). As a result, Rovio applications for mobile devices such as Apple’s iPhone, Blackberry platforms, Smartphones, and Nintendo DS handheld consoles are now available. Updates for the Rovio API are available on the Rovio website.

Rovio applications in a home or office setting include, but are not limited to:

  • Pet Surveillance
    Ensure the dog isn’t sleeping on the couch or the cat isn’t getting into mischief and even scold them remotely
  • Elder Care & Family Bonding
    Check up on a loved one or elderly parent with the ability to navigate about the house and communicate; Stay in touch with kids off at college or distant relatives and even use Rovio’s microphone and speaker system to read a bedtime story to children remotely
  • Home surveillance & Monitoring of a Vacation Home
    See and hear the activities of your house or apartment in real time from any vacation spot, conference center, airport, or other location around the world; Check to see if pipes have burst or lights were left on and Rovio will always find its way back to its recharging dock, even on its own when power is running low
  • Telecommuting & Business Travel
    Have a physical presence in the office, even at the water cooler, when working at home; Participate in meetings or check up on employees at the office when traveling as the “virtual boss”

Rovio launched in November 2008 as the first commercially available, fully assembled mobile webcam with telepresence capabilities and has since received numerous accolades, including recognition as a 2009 Design and Engineering Award honoree by the Consumer Electronic Association in the Personal Electronics product category. Priced similarly to a high-end webcam, Rovio offers added functionality, cutting-edge technology, and a futuristic experience of being in two places at once. Featuring omni-directional three-wheeled motion for easy, precise navigation, the Rovio mobile webcam has a head-mounted, high resolution (640 x 480), adjustable camera with a wide range of vision that streams video and can take, store, and/or send photo snapshots of what it sees. Rovio also features the TrueTrack™ Navigation System, which enables the mobile webcam to locate the position of objects in its environment and navigate from place to place by storing waypoints that the user can then instruct Rovio to revisit at a later time.

Consumers can join the Rovio discussion on Capable Network’s Robocommunity.com, an online portal of forums, informative articles, and knowledgeable roboticists, where over 3,300 members share tips, tricks, troubleshooting answers, news, and even hacks.

The Rovio mobile webcam is available at www.MeetRovio.com for the new retail price of $229, and at major retailers nationwide, including Amazon.com, Sears.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Target.com, Walmart.com, and Hammacher.com and comes with a charging dock with a built-in TrueTrack Beacon, rechargeable NiMH battery pack, User manual, Quick start guide, USB Cable and 8V AC adapter. Rovio Software is available as a download from the WowWee site. TrueTrack Room Beacons are available separately. The Rovio headlight accessory, which is used to illuminate Rovio’s path in low light situations, is available for the suggested retail price of $29.99 and is available for purchase at www.MeetRovio.com.

Additional information, demos, frequently asked questions, and software updates for the Rovio mobile webcam can be found at www.MeetRovio.com.


About WowWee

WowWee, an Optimal Group company (NASDAQ:OPMR), is a leading designer, developer, marketer and distributor of innovative hi-tech consumer robotic and entertainment products. The WowWee group of companies maintains operations in Hong Kong, Carlsbad, California; Brussels, Belgium; and Montreal, Quebec.

For more information, please visit the Company's web site at www.wowwee.com.


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