NFC has been available on mainstream smartphones for a year and half now, and yet we still find ourselves quite limited in what we’re able to do with the technology. There are many reasons why NFC has stagnated, ranging from too few end-users having NFC supported on their phones to make user-to-user communications worthwhile, to the carriers and their financial partners working to block the free availability of NFC-based payment systems. That’s why we’re glad to see it when anyone does manage to come up with some useful implementation of NFC. The latest to catch our eye is from RIM, with a new version of its BlackBerry Music Gateway.
The BlackBerry Music Gateway allows you to stream audio from your BlackBerry phone via Bluetooth to your home stereo. This new version, while keeping all the old functionality, now adds the ability to connect with your phone over NFC. When you place a BlackBerry model with NFC support on the BBMG, it will use NFC to negotiate Bluetooth pairing with the device, simplifying the process to get you started playing music. That’s not to say that full-on audio streaming over NFC alone couldn’t be possible its 424kb/s maximum data rate could carry compressed audio in real-time with ease but considering the ranges involved, it wouldn’t make using your phone while it’s playing music very practical.
RIM’s NFC-enabled BlackBerry Music Gateway will be available this June for about $50.