Research in Motion has announced an updated version of the BlackBerry Music Gateway gadget. It’s the first in what we’re hoping is a stream of new announcements from BlackBerry World, the company’s developer conference running between May 1 and May 3.
The original version came out way back in 2008, and this second edition adds in several new features including NFC. It’s a tiny thing, measuring just 60mm by 40mm and 12mm thick, and weighing a mere 28 grams, so it’s as inconspicuous as they come.
A microUSB port is used for power and either a 3.5mm stereo output or an RCA can be used to connect to just about any device with an auxiliary input — from your home stereo system to the headunit in your car.
With NFC on your phone activated, all it takes is a quick tap to pair the two devices together, and you’re ready to stream audio from your phone, to the Music Gateway and finally to the speaker system to which it’s connected.
Several BlackBerry devices include NFC, including the Bold 9900 and the PlayBook tablet, but as the Music Gateway also supports Bluetooth, you’ll be able to use almost any phone in conjunction with the Gateway, whether it’s a BlackBerry or not.
Once the connection has been made and the music is playing, your phone can be used as a remote control for volume and track changes, and as it runs in the background, normal operation of the phone isn’t affected. It’ll even pause the music when a call comes through.
The BlackBerry Music Gateway is due for release in June, when it’ll cost an entirely reasonable $49.99.