Qualcomm’s FLO TV launches gadget for watching TV on the go

flo-2Qualcomm’s FLO TV division is launching a gadget to deliver live mobile TV service for people on the run.

The FLO TV Personal Television will play TV that is available through Qualcomm’s own dedicated mobile TV network. The dedicated device will not be a phone; its sole purpose is to let people view TV news, sports, children’s shows, and movies. It will be available for the holiday season for $249.99 and a subscription fee of $8.99 a month.

It’s a bold bet, but it could also be a disaster. Qualcomm has been pushing FLO TV on cell phones for a while but has had limited success getting paying subscribers for high-definition TV on a small screen. It’s just not clear that people really want to watch TV so much that they will pay subscription fees.

flo-1The device will show live TV or time-shifted shows over FLO TV’s dedicated multicast network. The company built the network so that it can transmit shows with no delays related to downloading or storing data in memory. The touchscreen device, designed by Frog Design and made by HTC, lets you change channels with the swipe of a finger.

The device has a 3.5-inch diagonal screen and measures 4.4 inches by 3 inches by 0.5 inches. It weighs five ounces and has five hours of battery life, when in active use. The screen has a finger-friendly capacitive touchscreen. It has stereo speakers and a stand so you can set up the device on a flat surface. FLO TV is available 86 major markets and will be available in more than 100 by the end of the year.