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Iota Flex wants to be a MiFi for voice and text

Joanna Stern
05.27.10
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Would you believe us if we told you that that rubber bracelet-looking thing is actually going to have a built-in SIM card and bring voice / text capabilities to Android tablets, e-readers and netbooks via Bluetooth? Yeah, it sounds super crazy, but that's exactly what it'll eventually do. Convinced that 2G capabilities like talking and texting should be easier to add to MIDs, tablets and netbooks, Seattle-based startup Iota has come up with the Flex. It's definitely in the early stages of development, but in essence they see people clipping the bendable device to a bag, pairing it to an Android tablet, e-reader or MID, and then making calls from said devices.

We caught some time with Iota and the prototype at the Netbook Summit this week and were told that they plan to sell the Flex through retailers for under $100 -- it would be an extra $40 a month for unlimited calling and texting thanks to a partnership with Simple Mobile. Here's where we say we wouldn't hold your breath for this thing to hit the market -- though if they can pull it off, it'll certainty be an interesting solution for adding voice and text to those hoards of incoming Android tablets. After you're done wrapping your brain around this wearable voice and text accessory, check out the hands-on pics and hit the break for a hacked together demo of the dev kit they've been selling.

Gallery: Iota Flex prototype hands-on | 7 Photos



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