RIM kicked off its three-day BlackBerry World event with the new debut of its new NFC-enabled BlackBerry Music Gateway. We spent some hands on time with the device at RIM's pre-show reception and were fairly impressed with its ease of use and wallet-friendly price. BlackBerry Music Gateway allows you to stream music from your NFC-enabled BlackBerry smartphone or PlayBook directly to any compatible stereo system.
Just connect the Gateway to your home or in-car stereo, enable your BlackBerry's NFC radio and tap the Gateway with your phone. One tap activates the Gateway's connection, letting you stream music from up to 30 feet away. To stop streaming your music, just tap the phone to the Gateway again and it's off. Connecting and disconnecting from the Gateway takes just a second.
Better still, if your particular phone doesn't offer NFC support, your can still connect to the Music Gateway via your device's Bluetooth. The device is not only easy to use, but surprising small. There's no bells or whistles with the Music Gateway. You won't find an LCD display and there are no settings to change, which is one of the reasons the Gateway is so appealing.
The other reason? It's $49.99 price tag. RIM has previously released a Bluetooth-only Music Gateway that cost $99.99, a steep price for such a simple product. But with its new, lower price and NFC-compatibility, the new BlackBerry Music Gateway could be just the accessory BlackBerry users have been looking for.