All eyes are on RIM's BlackBerry 10 plans at BlackBerry World 2012 this week, but the company has pushed out an entertainment-focused Bluetooth streaming accessory as a pre-show aperitif. The BlackBerry Music Gateway is a compact Bluetooth box that allows a BlackBerry phone - or, indeed, any smartphone, tablet or other device equipped with Bluetooth streaming support - to play music through your home or car speakers. RIM even throws in a little NFC to sweeten the deal.
Thanks to the Near-Field Communications short-range wireless technology, users can pair and connect their BlackBerry smartphones with the Music Gateway simply by tapping them together. If you're using a non-NFC device, or a non-RIM handset, you can pair via Bluetooth as normal.
Once that's done, any audio output from the phone or tablet will be shuttled out of the Music Gateway instead. It's all controlled from your device, too, meaning you can manage playlists from across the room.
Connectivity is down to a bare minimum, with the 60 x 40 x 12.5 mm, 28g box having only a microUSB port for power and a standard stereo output for hooking up to your speakers or a car radio's auxiliary input. It's not the first Bluetooth-based media box we've seen from RIM; the company also has the BlackBerry Presenter, a more expensive and video-capable version designed to run PowerPoint presentations from your smartphone on a bigger display.
The BlackBerry Music Gateway is up for pre-order now, priced at $49.99. It's expected to begin shipping in June.