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