We're living in happy times right now. Happy, because the Internet is no longer restricted to devices with wires. Yes, in 2008 the wireless Web is maturing like the finest cheese or the the tastiest wine. Ready to exploit the growing ubiquity of a Web without wires is Intempo, whose portable Wi-Fi radio is designed to be used on the move, obviously with the intention of being used near Wi-Fi hotspots. All very well in big US cities, but is it too early for the UK?
You'll be able to use the new radio -- codenamed 'Daisy' -- with about 6,000 Internet radio stations, or with Real or Windows Media audio streams. But you'll have to connect to a hotspot first. Despite its growing popularity, Wi-Fi isn't commonly available out on the streets here in Britain, potentially posing a problem.
Though if you do find yourself stuck without a hotspot, you'll be able to tune into FM stations instead. To make the Daisy even more attractive to radio connoisseurs, Intempo could've built in DAB. We've seen it in some great portable players, such as Cowon's iAudio D2 DAB.
While wireless Internet radio is a great idea in principle, it may just be too inconvenient in a country where Wi-Fi hotspots are dominated by laptops, and everywhere else is populated by DAB instead. If Wi-Fi enjoyed more widespread coverage outside coffee bars and hotels, it might be more attractive to have something like a Daisy in your pocket.
The other problem we foresee concerns authentication; most public hotspots require you to accept some terms and conditions of usage with a Web browser, something the Daisy doesn't have. This will leave you unable to connect to a hotspot and therefore unable to connect to any Net radio.
If you still fancy the idea, you can expect a release some time in April of this year with a price tag of £150. We'll have a full review as soon as possible. -Nate Lanxon