ZinkKat, a startup based in Cary, unveiled its “Chili” mobile entertainment device this week at the Demo 2006 show in Phoenix.

Chili, which is small enough to attach to a user’s ear, provides audio entertainment access as well as voice communications. The company describes it as a “personal communicator.”

“Chili appeals to kids who continuously jump from IM, to talking on the phone, to listening to their favorite music or gathering pertinent information from the web, but hate the inconvenience and lack of privacy of being wired to the family computer,” said David Dubbs, chief development officer of ZinkKat. “Our extensive consumer research shows teenagers want a simple way to enjoy their music, without missing out on important communications with their friends, while enhancing their lives with real-time, personalized information, like Podcasts, local ski information, or availability of concert tickets.”

Given its size, Chili does not have a keypad. Rather, it uses audio prompts.

“We’ve broken the paradigm of having to constantly look at a display to get information,” said Trey Weaver, founder and chief technology officer of ZinkKat. “You can actually find information a lot faster through audio prompts and notifications. Combine that with a consumer interface that takes just 3 buttons to activate all functions, and you’ve got something that’s so easy to use you don’t even have to look at it.”

ZinkKat: www.zinkkat.com