Rumor has it that Research In Motion is working on a media-streaming device.
BlackBerry enthusiast site NerdBerry has supposedly confirmed with a trusted source that RIM will soon offer a digital media receiver, code-named BlackBerry Cyclone and destined for the market this fall.
Details on the device are a bit slim at this point, but NerdBerry reports that it will have access to Netflix and YouTube (not the most compelling lineup; we'd like to assume there would be more content providers upon launch). Other rumored features include HDMI, Wi-Fi, and DLNA/home network content playback.
As for aesthetics, NerdBerry says the media hub will resemble the BlackBerry Presenter, a small device capable of displaying PowerPoint and PDF files from a BlackBerry onto a monitor/projector. No word if it will feature the next-generation QNX interface found on RIM's PlayBook tablet.
Is this the right time for the Cyclone? It's hard to say until we see the alleged device. RIM lacks its own content service, and if it were to develop one, it would face expensive content deals. If it's just trying to be another media box with an array of streaming services--like the Slingbox, Roku, HP MP200, Logitech Revue, Sony's SMP-N100, and many others--the question is, why?
Lately, it seems every step RIM takes is more scrutinized than the next, between nasty internal memos, painful high-profile product launches, and pressure to successfully navigate through the upcoming launch of BlackBerry 7 devices among a storm of other internal problems.
Would you be compelled to purchase a product such the Cyclone from RIM? Do you think moving into a new category will give the company a boost?