By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Kash 'N Gold, a manufacturer of novelty telephones, has licensed the AT&T name for FRS and GMRS radios and will debut a line of five GRMS and one FRS radio at CES.
The company is showing several high-end GMRS models including one with text messaging and a unit with GPS.
In addition, all five GMRS models come with a "synchronization" feature. Within AT&T pairs of GMRS, one model is designated the "master" unit. When the master unit is set to any channel and subcode, the "clone" unit will automatically lock on to that frequency. The feature was implemented, says Kash 'N Gold, for the many parents that said their children would accidentally switch channels, placing them out of contact.
The top-of-the-line AT&T-model is the ATT704. It is designed for locating other GRMS users in one's party. It provides GPS coordinates for all incoming callers and transmits the user's position within a five mile range. Although GPS transceivers must be held horizontally to obtain a GPS reading, the unit is specially designed so that it can be held vertically while the transceiver stays in a horizontal position. The unit has a three-line dot matrix display, 15 channels and 38 subcodes, 10 weather channels, VOX and battery meter at a suggested retail price of $270.
The step-down model ATT703 has similar features without the GPS, but adds text messaging. It includes a full keypad for sending and receiving messages of up to 80 characters within a five mile range. Messages are sent at a 1,200 baud rate in three seconds, and up to 20 messages can be stored, said the company. Suggested retail price for the ATT703 is $200 per pair.
The AT&T basic GMRS system comes with 15 channels and 38 subcodes, 10 weather channels, VOX and battery meter, and includes one master unit and one clone unit for channel synchronization at $120 per pair. Clone units can be purchased separately at $60 each and a pair of master units is $140.
The company's new FRS is a 14-channel model with 38 subcodes, 3 level VOX, channel scan and dual channel scan at a suggested retail price of $70 per pair. All units are expected to ship in July.
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