Finding the Right Mix with Wi-Fi

October 6, 2006 - 0 Comments

Communications has been irrevocably changed by Wi-Fi. For a great example of how far we’ve come in just 10 short years, take a look at My Life B.W., Before Wi-Fi. But while Wi-Fi in mobile devices is becoming more and more commonplace, Wi-Fi infrastructure is not yet ubiquitous. Cellular networks have Wi-Fi beat today, despite 125,000 (and growing) public hotspots. So I’m puzzled over the target market for the Sony mylo (My Life On Line). It’s billed as a”personal communicator” but it’s only connectivity is Wi-Fi.It’s an incredibly easy device to use -the UI is simple, the design is gorgeous, the form factor is cool. It comes preloaded with many applications I like to use while out and about. You can surf the web, IM, play music, look at pictures and videos. It even has Skype and Google Talk for calls. But-.I want to do those things when I want to do them. Meaning, now. Especially phone calls. And Wi-Fi connectivity isn’t omnipresent to allow me to do that at the drop of a hat.Clearly they seem to be aiming for the teen and college youth market, but it doesn’t have the pull of an iPOD or gaming device. (Nor the affordable price tag, with the mylo over $300.) Why didn’t Sony didn’t take these same features and integrate it into their gaming platform? Nintendo has already surpassed 2 million unique Wi-Fi users with their gaming device.Still, what Sony did get right is simplifying finding a hot spot by including JiWire’s hotspot finder. For how prevalent embedded Wi-Fi is in laptops, I’m surprised that none of the major laptop providers have bundled in a hotspot finder. After all, for most of us, notebooks are about communication, not computing.

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