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Plantronics Adds ‘Smart Sensors' To Voyager Headset

1/26/2011 10:06:45 AM Eastern

Santa Cruz, Calif. -
Plantronics formally announced the Voyager Pro UC today, a Bluetooth headset
with smart sensor technology.

VoyagerAmong other things, the
Voyager Pro UC "knows" when the headset is being worn or not. This is designed
to let users answer telephone calls from their headsets or phones without
worrying about the two being paired.  

Jan Caldarella,
Plantronics' senior Bluetooth product manager, spoke with TWICE last week about
the device. "A problem that Bluetooth users have is that you don't know where
your headset is. You pick up the phone to answer the phone call, and the headset
is still connected to the phone and the audio is still on the headset. With
Smart Call Transfer, we're going to be able to rout the audio to the appropriate
device. So if the headset is not being worn, the call will route to your phone."

The headset is designed
with two sensors: one in the back spine and one in the speaker housing. Should
users not wish to answer calls by simply placing the headset on their head,
they can also do so in the traditional manner of pressing a button.

Other features include
Auto Call Button Lock, which locks the call button when the headset isn't being
worn. This was implemented to prevent the embarrassment of "pocket dialing,"
Caldarella said.

Beyond the customary
uses for Bluetooth headsets, the Voyager Pro UC is also engineered to bridge
the gap between Bluetooth headsets and PC communications. The company has
developed software to use with the Voyager Pro UC that enables integration with
such VoIP platforms as Skype and Microsoft Lync.

For example, users can
switch from instant messaging to a phone call by putting on the headset. When a
user is on a call, his online presence is switched to "busy."

The Voyager Pro UC also
supports A2DP technology to allow for the streaming of music and turn-by-turn directions.
The smart sensors will automatically pause music when the headset is taken off,
Caldarella said, the act of which has become a common courtesy when talking
face-to-face with someone. "When you put the headset back on, the music
automatically begins." She noted that this feature was somewhat application
dependent.

The Voyager Pro UC is
currently available for a $199 suggested retail. It comes with a mini-USB
adapter for use with PC conversations.

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