No, this is not about a bookmobile...
Two indicators I use to sense that Spring is approaching is when all the new gadgets start to appear out of the CES and when the Auto Show comes to town.
One of those emerging technologies marrying the two is a device/service being marketed by Autonet Mobile. The service provides broadband Internet access and local Wi-Fi connectivity. It is an Internet router for your car.
The device connects to the Internet using both 3G (WiMax) and 2.5G (EV- DO) cellular data networks. It then provides WiFi service allowing passengers to connect their wireless gadgets to the Internet either in-car or up to 100 feet away. High speed access ranges from 600Kbps-800Kbps with upload speeds about 200Kbps. The Wi-Fi connection is secured with WEP encryption and supports VPN pass-through.
(unfortunately, I now forsee the day we will see drivers with a laptop on the dash...talk about distractive driving)
Their inital partnerships include Avis Connect locations in San Francisco, New York LaGuardia, Las Vegas, Chicago Midway and O’Hare, to name a few. Autonet serves as the ISP and customers must subscribe to their service. I have located several auto dealerships that are planning to resell Autonet Mobile at around $400 for the device and $39-49 per-month for service.
So, I guess libraries need to start thinking about how to develop and market services for this new form of mobile customer.
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