Feeds

Is that a Wi-Fi media server in your pocket?

Personal music streaming is getting closer

Top three mobile application threats

The distinction between the storage and transmission of stuff – a canyon wide enough to create rival industries in the past – gets more meaningless by the day. Vodafone's next personal Wi-Fi hotspot will have a file sharing built right into the dongle. That's if FCC filings and blog reports can be believed. The next-gen MiFi unit, or personal router, is manufactured by China's Huawei.

The interesting part is that like many of today's 3G dongles, it will feature on-board storage, with room for a Micro-SD slot. It's only a small step to allow personal file sharing or - and this is more likely (and interesting) – local media streaming.

Engadget unearthed the device recently via regulatory technical filings in the US, which you can peruse at the FCC. As with the current first generation MiFi dongles, it supports up to five users.

It's likely to cause alarm among sections of the movie and music industries, since this kind of off-grid media consumption is considered untraceable. (It isn't actually, it's just harder.) But think of the situations where people would happily pay money for such a useful gadget. Nokia currently bundles unlimited music access with its devices as part of its Comes With Music scheme. With a personal media server, so could Vodafone (or even Tesco). Live music streaming is obviously another possibility: until multicasting is turned on, a broadcaster would rather send out one stream rather than five. An intelligent personal router could cache and re-route the bits.

And there are many non-infringing uses – tour guides for museums and galleries, or tuition material for small groups. All of which looks like a number of potential markets could be opened up.

We've been talking about some of these for a very long time. Alas the creators' representatives (which few now disagree are entitled to take their fair cut from media consumption) are still miles behind in thinking about all this. Storage is storage - which means a unit sale; while performance is performance - usually deriving a cut of revenue, or on a per-play basis. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.