The newest Bluetooth applications

April 20, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Bluetooth technology began as a way to eliminate the wire between a cell phone and a headset. But since then, it is appearing in wireless stereo speakers, in computer keyboards and on motorcycles.

Hear the roar of that motorcycle? Sure, head out on the highway, looking for adventure. But what about just hearing the guy on the other bike?

"This is a great day to be out here," said Tood McPherson.

That's Todd McPherson while riding on his Vespa at full bore. He and friend Paul Rivette are on a ride wearing the latest Bluetooth helmet-sets.

"Look! You can see all the way up the coast."

"That's amazing."

"When we get past this next turn, we're going to be able to see even more..."

Two earpieces snap into the inside of the helmet. A clip goes onto the outside. There's the Bluetooth button, of course. And the volume control buttons on top double as station-tuning buttons for the built-in FM radio.

The radio button turns it into an intercom for a backseat rider or up to three motorcyclists up to a quarter mile apart. And, if you have a GPS-enables Bluetooth device, it will talk to you, giving you directions as you ride.

"I was surprised," says Todd. "When Paul started the bike up, I thought, all I could here was the bike at first, and there's just no way Iam going to hear his voice over that."

Paul, too, expected the exhaust noise from his Harley to impeded communication.

"It was like Todd was inside my helmet. It was like we were sitting next to each other in a coffee shop," said Paul Rivette.

"And I can imagine," adds Todd, "using these for mountain biking and skiing, and tons of other activities."

The Scala from Cardo also pairs with a cell phone, and three of them will work up to a half mile apart. Cost: about $200.

All right, say you're finished looking for adventure in everything that comes your way. Now, what you're really looking for is a printer. Where you normally can't find one: a hotel, a beach, a construction site. If you have a Bluetooth-enabled phone, you can print to this.

The Planon Print Stik adds a Print menu to a mobile phone. What it prints is more like a fax, because it uses a roll of thermal paper.

It does not work with all phones yet. But for $300 dollars, it works with any Bluetooth computer too, weighs less than a pound and you can Bluetooth in bluegrass.

RELATED LINKS: Planon.
Makers of Printstik pocket printer and DocuPen pocket scanner.

Cardo Systems
Distributors of the Scala bluetooth headsets, including 4 in the Scala- Rider line for motorcycle helmets.


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