The MiFi from verizon (David Pogue review) is, in theory something you could just casually place in your backpocket and have a wireless network bubbled around you. I say this is different from cell phone tethering or dedicated cellular connections that connect to devices via USB, because this has the "hands off" Ron Popeil "set it and forget it" approach that I like. It's really the same solution we've seen for years, but this time presented in a different way.
There's a certain je ne sais quois to have this thing just always on despite whether your laptop or phone or desktop is turned on and connected. I suppose I could be convinced that it should/will become the next generation of tethering from a cellphone (assuming it could be set to be independently/always on, and that a battery can handle that usage) but for now I applaud the user centered approach.