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Bluetooth Featured In Several Phones At CTIA Wireless Show

4/05/2006 08:50:00 AM Eastern

Las Vegas — Bluetooth, the short-range cable-replacement technology is turning up in more phones and in more accessories, including bookshelf speakers that reproduce handset-stored music and photo viewers, which store digital images transferred from a phone.

Here’s what various suppliers are showing:

Cardo Systems: Two new Bluetooth headsets include a model that does double duty as a cellphone headset and as a VoIP headset when used with a PC or laptop. It’s the scala-500, which can be paired with a Cardo VoIP-USB adapter. It delivers voice control of VoIP features, including Skype address-book search, call contact, disconnect and redial.

A second headset, the scala-700, is smaller than previous Cardo models and lets users easily switch connections between paired cellular phones. It also has a locate feature that causes the device to buzz when a phone key is pressed. Talktime is up to 10 hours, and standby is up to 240 hours. Both ship in mid-May.

The 500 has a suggested $69 retail price, including Bluetooth/VoIP adapter, and the 700 retails for a suggested $49. Also new: the scala-750 Bluetooth Headset with caller ID-equipped headset pouch at $64. The caller ID displays incoming phone numbers when the headset in the pouch, which receives the caller ID number via the headset.

Parrott: The company is diversifying from hands-free Bluetooth car kits to add Bluetooth amplified home speakers, a Bluetooth photo viewer for the home and its first Bluetooth headset. Its car kits include a CD car radio with built-in Bluetooth to deliver cellphone audio through a car’s speakers.

With the $449-suggested two-way 2x60-watt speakers, consumers can reproduce music streamed via Bluetooth from a cellphone, PC or other device. Each speaker incorporates 60-watt amplifier and decoders for MP3, MP3 surround and SBC audio formats. Bluetooth connects the speakers to each other, and each speaker gets plugged into an AC outlet. They use the high-data-rate 2.0+EDR Bluetooth version, which delivers data at a theoretical maximum of 3Mbps, and incorporates the stereo A2DP profile and the remote-control profile for remote control by similarly equipped Bluetooth cellphones. They’re due in early summer.

The photo viewer, due in the spring at a suggested $279, features 32MB of internal storage to store up to 100 JPEG images transferred via Bluetooth. It can be used in landscape or portrait position and comes in leather or white-leaded oak finish. A light senor turns off the 3.5-inch 320 by 234-pixel display at night.

The $99-suggested Bluetooth headset, due in the spring, comes with a charging cradle that plugs into the car’s cigarette lighter to recharge and hold the headset when not in use. When an incoming call is received, the cradle sounds a ringtone, alerting the driver to put the headset in his ear.

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