Belkin announces its new CableFree USB Hub, the industry’s first USB Hub that does not require a cable to connect to the computer. This Hub allows people to place their laptop anywhere in the room while still maintaining wireless access to their USB devices, such as printers, scanners, hard drives, and MP3 players. This is the first UWB-enabled product to be introduced in the U.S. market. The CableFree USB Hub’s wireless functionality is enabled by Freescale Semiconductor’s ((NYSE:FSL, FSL.B) Ultra-Wideband technology.
CableFree USB will be on display at the 2006 International CES Show in Las Vegas, NV, January 5–8, at 31247 South Hall and at Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco, CA, January 10–13, at 717 South Hall.
Beginning in early spring 2006, Belkin will offer a four-port hub that will enable immediate high-speed wireless connectivity for any USB device without requiring software. The CableFree USB Hub gives desktop computer users the freedom to place their USB devices anywhere in the room without running long cables. Laptop users gain the freedom to roam wirelessly with their laptop around the room while still maintaining access to their stationary USB devices.
If your house is anything like mine, you could use one of these now. I have many USB devices: hard drives, flash drives, optical drives, flash card readers, scanner, printer, handheld computers and MP3 players, all hooked up to various computers. I’m constantly bringing devices from one part of the house to the other. I can’t wait to be able to have one box to plug a series of USB devices into. Then, I can access all the devices wirelessly from my computer. Better yet, I hope they sell an extra transmitter to plug into the computer so I can have both my desktop, and my notebook able to access the devices. The wireless protocol is the UWB, the so-called ultra wide band, and this is the debut device so we’ll have to wait to see range and other details like thorouhput. The only shortcoming so far I can see is that I have more than 4 USB devices to connect to it. Maybe I can plug a regular USB hub into the wireless USB Hub for some extra ports, but something tells me that would be pushing it too much. Stay tuned for some testing, it should be on the market in April.
Read the whole press release here.
Some more info over at Engadget.