Wait, pairing? Isn’t that why Bluetooth streaming hasn’t really taken off? Actually, it’s more complicated than that, but never fear: RIM has made the pairing simple by using yet another wireless technology: near-field communication (NFC).
Although NFC gets a lot of headlines for its application in mobile payments, it actually has a lot of other uses, insanely easy Bluetooth pairing being one of them. Just hold up your NFC-equipped BlackBerry to the Gateway, and — Bam! — you’re connected. Other Bluetooth phones can stream to the Gateway, but the NFC pairing is apparently BlackBerry-only.
RIM is far from the first to come out with a wireless music adapter, but few Bluetooth products so far have the NFC-pairing feature (Parrot’s Zik headphones, which we caught a glimpse of at CES, are another).
The gadget is very small, about the size of a case of dental floss, so it should be easily tucked out of sight somewhere near your stereo. It connects to a stereo either via RCA connectors or a 3.5mm minijack, getting power via USB, letting it transition from home to car fairly easily.
The BlackBerry Music Gateway goes on sale in June for $49.99.
How do you like RIM’s new gadget — particularly the NFC-pairing ability?
Posted by Janine E. Mooney, Editor
May 1, 2012