WebBox Converts Your Old TV Into An Internet Ready Box

In developing countries like South Africa, *ahem* India – mobile phones have seen an explosive growth. Vodafone’s Pan-African subsidiary – Vodacom has released a new keyboard like gadget called WebBox which runs Android 2.1 OS that can be connected to your TV to surf the internet at 2.5G speed (EDGE) through your mobile networks.

It runs Android, but don’t expect a whole lot of software to come pre-installed with it. It’s primarily for Internet browsing/email sending in other words, a very creative netbook without an actual monitor, instead uses your TV.


I think the potential of such a device is huge. It’s primary features are

  • Opera Mini – preinstalled, which gives a great browsing experience by compressing web pages by almost 90%. You can of course use Opera Mini on your mobile phone.
  • QWERTY keyboard (which is the gadget) for easier typing – compact size (almost the size of your laptop computer – just a hell lot lighter).
  • Easy connection to the TV through a RCA cable (same as your old VCD/DVD player or your son’s video game console). It’s a simple Plug-And-Play.
  • Many pre-installed applications which can help you send SMS and emails easier.
  • Games, Notes applications pre-installed (you can quickly take down notes) while surfing. But just don’t buy it to play games. Stick to your video game consoles for that.
  • SIM Card provision (just like your mobile phone) as this works only on mobile networks Wish they had a WiFi support too. Nevertheless, Motorola ATRIX – you just got a competitor which is many times cheaper.
  • 2GB SD Card to store your media – You can also stream photos and videos from your online albums.
  • FM Radio too – in case you’re still into that thing. In India that’s the favorite commute entertainment and is doing pretty good.
  • No info on the processor yet, but I am guessing it’ll be the usual 600Mhz processor that is a standard on most budget phones of 2010.
  • The screen resolution is going to suck, but if you’re using an old TV (with lower resolutions, not talking about Full HD TVs here).
  • Affordable hardware pricing (102$) in South Africa (soon be released in other markets)

If this gets released in India, I am confident it’ll get very popular as Indian household(s) have great TV and mobile penetration. This coupled with cheap EDGE plan would create a powerful internet ready TV in your household.

[Via Engadget]

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