Wireless USB adapter kit heads to UK

Italian PC and peripherals manufacturer Olidata has claimed it will be the first company to introduce wireless USB adapter kits to the European market

An Italian PC and peripherals manufacturer is to sell a wireless USB adapter kit in the UK.

As the name suggests, wireless USB (WUSB) is a wireless replacement for standard USB connectivity. Olidata's adapter kit consists of a dongle for the PC's USB port and a powered cradle for the USB-equipped device that the user wants to communicate with the PC. A representative for Olidata told ZDNet UK that the company hoped to send the device to retailers by the end of the year. In a statement on Monday, Olidata said it expected to be the first company to sell such a kit in Europe.

The kit is essentially a stopgap measure for a technology intended to be integrated into PCs and devices such as digital cameras, printers and external hard drives. Based on ultrawideband (UWB) technology, which uses a wide range of frequencies to deliver short-range, high-speed wireless communications, WUSB has been promised by the wireless industry for years but is only now starting to appear on the market.

Industry backers have claimed the technology will take off now that single-chip WUSB chipsets are becoming available, as they improve power consumption and make it cheaper for manufacturers to start integrating WUSB into their products.

Olidata's adapter kit uses single-chip WUSB technology from Wisair, an Intel-funded UWB firm. Although it recently shut down an in-house UWB start-up, Intel still funds two UWB companies, one being Staccato Communications. Also on Monday, Staccato announced the availability to manufacturers of its own single-chip PCI Express wireless host controller interface.

Olidata has set a recommended retail price of €59 (£49) for its WUSB adapter kit in Italy, although the exact UK pricing and availability timing is yet to be determined.

Olidata's wireless USB adapter kit consists of a dongle for the PC and a powered cradle for the connectable device


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