Motorola and Burton have introduced the
second-generation Audex Jacket Series, which pushes the boundaries of outdoor
technology and wireless connectivity. This is the first product of its kind that
intends to do away with cumbersome wires and interfaces that you need when carrying
a phone. Working on the same Bluetooth-pairing principles as the phone-watch,
you just need to pair the jacket with the phone before leaving home, stuff the
phone into a pocket and forget that you are actually carrying it around. A stealth
control system on the jacket's sleeve is the sole interface needed to operate
almost all functionalities of the phone. You don't need a remote control for the
music, no hands-free for talking, and the best of them all is that you don't even
need a set of headphones! The jacket comes equipped with a set of DJ-quality speakers
that are neatly snuggled within the hood! The stealth control system smoothly
cranks up the volume, mutes the music for an incoming call, identifies the caller,
and what's more, a little microphone near the collar actually lets you make calls
to anyone in your phone book! All this while you are running away from a hungry
polar bear! Motorola really has taken the "hands-free" business seriously.
One thing the jacket brags about is its use of the Advanced Audio Distribution
Profile (A2DP) and Audio Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP), which basically
lets you stream music directly to the headphones, either from your phone or from
your docked iPod. Simply said, any Bluetooth 1.1 or 1.2-enabled phone that supports
'headset' and 'hands-free' profiles will work just as well.
So what's wrong with the whole deal?
You are to come across a salesman smart enough to sell you a Rs 50,000 jacket
along with the Rs 5,000 phone You just bought! Agreed, it's not just a regular
jacket that protects you from the wind; even so, 50K? Especially since it is designed
to be a jacket first, and a gadget later.
Upside: Single interface, much functionality.
Flipside: Awesome product, wrong country.
Buy if: You want to be a secret agent. This way you could
SONY ERICSSON MBW-100 BLUETOOTH WATCH
The name is Ericsson, Sony Ericsson! In true spy style, here comes a watch straight
out of a Bond movie. At first look, it is subtle, classy and oh so professional,
but unless the wearer tells you about the marvel he has wrapped around his wrist,
it would pass off as just another piece of business-class time-wear.
History tells us of the umpteen attempts at making wrist pieces that do more than
just tell the time. They all have largely been failures-a phone-watch, a databank
watch, an organiser watch, an MP3 watch-all taken off the shelves before their
time. There are two reasons for this, the first one being battery life. More applications
simply means more processing and display needs which amount to one power-hungry
gadget that the battery simply can't keep up with.
The second reason for failed attempts is pride. These watches have either been
made by watchmakers too proud to take help from tech companies, or gadget companies
who refused to take professional help from the watchmakers. Sony Ericsson wisely
kept this in mind while making their MBW-100 Bluetooth watch; they called up Fossil
to help them get the 'watch' part right. To reduce battery consumption, a full-fledged
PDA was left at the drawing boards and a minimalist approach was adopted, leaving
the gadget with a few, but important, features: caller ID, text messages, simple
controls for answering calls, and a useful vibrator that warns you as soon as
your Bluetooth enabled phone goes out of range.
When you receive a call, your phone could be in your pants, in the kitchen or
someplace you don't quite remember; assuming you own a Bluetooth headset, and
it is paired with your phone, you can look at the watch display to see who's calling,
and start talking over your headset without bothering about your phone. And the
simple crown normally reserved for adjusting the time doubles up for play/ pausing
your Walkman and for changing tracks! Bathroom singers can blissfully find themselves
listening to their stereo system, which is in the dining hall, playing music wirelessly
sourced from a Walkman in the kitchen, and being controlled by a simple watch
next to the tub!
Upside: Cool as hell.
Flipside: The styling won't appeal to college goers, which is a large
part of Sony Ericsson's customer base. Also the price is on the steeper side.
Buy if: You own the entire Bond collection on DVD.