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Free service offers instant connection to WiFi hotspots

Dec 12, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Devicescape Inc. is beta-testing a free service claimed to automatically connect devices to supported hotspots and municipal WiFi networks. The Devicescape service currently supports Nokia's 770 tablet, WiFi-enabled Windows Mobile 5.0 devices, and PCs running Windows XP SP2. It can access FON, Google WiFi, and T-Mobile HotSpot USA public hotspots.

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To take advantage of the Devicescape service, users need to sign up for a free account, and then download and install client software on their devices. According to the company, “once the device and the network are set up from the Devicescape Web site, connecting is automatic. As you approach a Wi-Fi network, your device automatically connects and is ready to use.” Users can register as many devices and as many services as they wish.

In addition to connecting sophisticated devices such as the Nokia 770 and Windows laptops to the Internet, the Devicescape service should make it easy for users of VoIP and Skype phones to place IP-based calls at public hotspots. The company also expects its service to eventually allow consumer electronic devices that lack browsers or complex user interfaces — such as digital media players, game systems, GPS devices, and digital cameras — to automatically connect to the Internet via municipal WiFi networks and public hotspots.

In addition, the Devicescape service beta supports the Linksys WIP300 Wireless-G IP Phone (but not the Windows CE-powered WIP330).

On Windows Mobile devices or Windows XP PCs, users wanting to make IP-based phone calls will need to install separate VoIP calling software on their devices, using software such as that available from Skype, which supports both Windows Mobile and Windows XP, or Gizmo, which supports Windows XP only.

Last August, Devicescape added a standards-based, one-button “Easy Access” feature to its “Devicescape Agent” WiFi middleware, aimed at making secure WiFi network configuration trivial for consumer devices such as smartphones and portable media players. Additionally, the update introduced support for Windows Mobile 5.0-based smartphones and Pocket PCs.

Interested users can register for the Devicescape service beta on the company's website.

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