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Iriver's Wave Home: All-in-one communications/multimedia hub gets some buzz

More than a home networking device, Iriver says its Wave Home is the ultimate all-in-one solution that provides advanced multimedia, Web, and phone capabilities in a single hub.

Iriver didn't say when its Wave Home will be available or how much it will cost. Iriver

There's been a little bit of buzz at CES here about the Iriver Wave Home, which marries a networked mulitmedia device with a communications hub to form a kitchen/home office-friendly gadget.

A 7-inch 800x480 touch screen is built into the unit along with a detachable wireless handset and speakerphone for VoIP calls (you can make calls from the phone or an onscreen virtual keypad and the device supports video calls as well). You can access the Web, photos, music, and videos, and there's an FM radio that Iriver says can be "enjoyed through Wave Home's built-in, high-quality stereo speakers."

"High quality" might be stretching it a bit, but you get the picture: the thing is basically a digital photo frame on steroids, complete with a 1.3-megapixel CMOS camera. Additional features include an Ethernet jack, SD card slot, USB connectivity, and support for digipen input.

Iriver is also touting the device's intelligent Widget, which "provides instant weather, stock and traffic updates, as well as Web and multimedia services that users can enjoy without a computer since the device is connected to broadband internet." Wave Home also supports Flash-based games and you can send and receive SMS and MMS texts.

What's missing? An iPod dock. My God, what were these people thinking?

I'm kidding. Well, sort of. Anyway, there's no definitive word on pricing or availability, but Iriver is allegedly trying to keep the cost below $400.