Online retailer Zavvi is selling the Samsung SE-208BW Optical Smarthub Wi-Fi streamer for £38 via its eBay store, a price that includes 38 Nectar points and free delivery.
The SE-208BW is not a bad idea, it is essentially an optical DVD writer and player attached to a wireless router which means that it can stream content from the disc or any attached storage (via a USB port) to other devices in the vicinity although speeds are limited to 802.11g.
You can use it as a standard USB drive and there’s even a LAN port. What’s more Samsung developers judiciously coded apps for Android and iOS which will allow owners of devices running those platforms to access content from the SE-208BW (but not write on it).
Note that the drive supports SAMBA, Samsung’s Allshare and FTP as well.
Arguably, just like wireless hard drives, the premise for developing these products is that there is a significant market for such novelties. However, the rise of cloud-based solutions, either for consuming media or for backing up content, means that the SE-208BW will only ever be considered as a niche storage device.