CONSUMER ELECTRONICS SHOW: CNET editors cover the Next Big Thing
Bluetooth add-on creates iPod remote
January 8, 2005; 11:20 a.m.
Belkin demonstrated a prototype of a Bluetooth accessory that enables iPods to wirelessly stream music to home stereos and simultaneously serve as a remote control. The TuneStage device comprises a Bluetooth receiver that connects to the stereo or entertainment system and a Bluetooth transmitter that plugs into the top of the iPod. TuneStage works from a distance of roughly 30 feet. It will be compatible with iPod Minis as well as with third- and fourth-generation models.
The sleekly designed product delivered good sound and transmission in demos on the CES trade show floor. Using the iPod as a remote control to select and play music was intuitive, although there was a brief, but discernable, latency. Belkin said the Bluetooth radio transmitter that connects to the iPod would have negligible impact on the iPod's battery life.
The price: Pricing for the TuneStage has not yet been set. It will be available in March.
The prospects: Assuming the cost of the TuneStage is reasonable, the device should prove popular among 'Pod people who want the ultimate remote control for their stereo: the iPod itself.
By Rik Fairlie, senior editor, Computer Shopper
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