Roadshow Video Reviews
Autonet Mobile Wi-Fi routerBrian Cooley demos Autonet Mobile's Wi-Fi router that enables you to get Internet access in your car.
[ Background music ] >> Well here I am in the Valley [inaudible] CNETs headquarters and I'm online live connection and I'm not using our Wi-Fi hot spot nor am I stealing one from our neighbors like I often do instead I'm getting connected through our car. This Cadillac CTS has a dealer installed option from Autonet Mobile, a company that makes that, that is a mobile in car wireless router, takes 3G cellular connection like your smartphone and translates that into Wi-Fi all around the car and for a few feet outside of its perimeter. Now that in of itself is no clever trick making it work while your one the move that is. Let's go see how well it does that and check the tech [door shutting]. ^M00:00:39 [ Music ] ^M00:00:43 >> Now you log onto an Autonet hot spot in your car like any other hotspot so I've got my Windows wireless network manager open. I'm gonna refresh the network list and sure enough there it is. Autonet 1061 is this unit in this Cadillac CTs; I'll connect to it. Ok we're connected. No problem there. Now the real proof. We're moving downtown San Francisco, regular traffic, this isn't freeway yet but let's try and reload CNET just like we did over there in the ally and see if it works while we're on the go. Pretty good. Now let's go to a site that we haven't cached yet. Oh let's take a look at cbsnews.com which is heavy on all kinds of graphics and flash like modern rich sites are so this will be a pretty good challenge. [ Background sounds ] >> Not as fast as being obviously wired or even at a Wi-Fi connection in your office because remember what's feeding this is a 3G cellular signal. So what are you limited to maybe 800 kb theoretical maximum, more like 4 to 500 real world. So this is not gonna be as fast as Wi-Fi or certainly wired back in the premises now let's see if we can stream some video, that's a good test of whether it has continuous connectivity at a good solid rate. Now here's where you start to feel your 800 kb limit. This video is still buffering way longer than it would if you were sitting down at your desk. Ok there we go. So you're gonna feel the sluggishness with media in particular and it's a little jerky. Let's go to my Pandora account and see how streaming audio works, something a little less challenging. Now what Auotnet does it's different than just a piece of hardware is they have a network technology called TRU t-r-u which is their way of bonding all the cellular connections if you aren't going to these claclunk, claclunck drop out and reconnections that you might expect. Ok we're loading up Pandora now. Now a lot of folks may ask well I've got an iPhone or other smartphone well why do I need this? It already has its own connection to that 3G network and doesn't need to translate anything to Wi-Fi. True but still well over 2/3 of portable connected computing devices are Wi-Fi only. Most Netbooks, most laptops and notebooks so there's still a big market out there for this Wi-Fi enabled space. Ok so Pandora is loaded up let's see how it streams audio for me. I'll check out one of my channels here; the Jet Age [music]. Ok a little Cal Jader coming in just fine, smooth streaming here. Let's go to 1 more test. Let's go to cnettv.com which is heavily flash video based.^M00:03:16 [ Pause ] ^M00:03:23 >> Hey there I'm Tom Merrit here's what. >> Ok so it took a pretty long time to get the cnettv site loaded. Again heavily based on flash and video. Now that we've got it it's streaming smoothly. Ok that's the laptop and the laptop I think is one of the best tests you can have of this technology because it's a fairly high performance client. You can also use this Wi-Fi connection of course with your Wi-Fi enabled smartphone also digital cameras that have one of those iFi, Wi-Fi SD cards in there. So think about this being a mobile technology for more than just laptops. Ok so the Wi-Fi router we're talking about here goes for about 500 bucks if you get it at the dealer then the data plans are either $29 for a gig of data a month or I think it's $59 for 5 gigs of data a month. There is no unlimited plan but 5 gb sounds pretty generous for a mobile environment. They tell us that one of the main drivers of this in terms of sales in the field is not the mobile professional that you might think but actually the teens and tweens who are the children of the owners of these cars who want to stay connected all the time on whatever device they've got in many cases I gotta believe that's gonna be a Netbook with Wi-Fi built in [music].