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Hands Free Headsets Go Wireless

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Hands free headsets go wireless. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Slowly but surely more cell phones are including technology called Bluetooth enabling wireless connections with notebook PCs, PDAs and wireless headsets. Jabra, which has been among the leaders in the wired headset market with its EarGel devices, is making Bluetooth available for use on phones built without the technology. Its FreeSpeak headset is being sold with an optional adaptor that plugs into a standard headset jack. You then wear the wireless headset... and communicate while the phone remains on its belt clip or in a briefcase or handbag...

"And you can continue to talk without being tethered in any way by any kind of wires. So it's totally cord free and hands free and allows you kind of that ultimate convenience to use with either your mobile phone or some PDAs that are now using phone technology."

Jabra Marketing VP Jennifer Cauble. One of the problems with Bluetooth headsets of all brands is their bulkiness. That stems from the need for a rechargeable battery in the piece that goes around your ear. And often the sound quality isn't on a par with what you would get from a wired headset. But there are advantages...

"The road warriors are definitely people who are excited about the technology of Bluetooth cause they're not having to be tangled up in cords. And so it's really for that heavy mobile professional who wants the complete freedom of the product."

Pricing starts at about a hundred dollars and goes up another seventy dollars or so for the adaptor for non-Bluetooth phones. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.