Sygnet Launches 'RadFree' Headsets

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Israeli startup company Sygnet Technologies is bringing its line of radiation-reducing RadFree hands-free headsets to the United States following their debut in Israel and Europe last year.

The electrical wire in a regular headset, the company contends, serves as a conduit for radiation to travel from the handset to the ear, with more radiation reaching the ear if the wire is close to the phone's antenna, said Sean Elidan, CEO.

The company is targeting consumers concerned about cellular radiation as well as those who have not heard about the potential danger. "If you come in and haven't heard about the radiation issue, and our headsets are offered at the same price as others or less, why not switch?" Elidan asked.

For its future success, the company is counting on two things: a growing number of states adopting mandatory hands-free laws and concern over the potential effects of cellular phone RF radiation on the brain. Although the effects on the brain haven't been proven, Elidan said, "It's better to be safe today than sorry tomorrow." Scientists, he noted, "are most concerned about the effects on the brain."

Sygnet's solution consists of a clear, flexible 5.5-inch-long tube that transmits acoustic waves to the ear from a dangling ball-shaped AccuChamber. The AccuChamber converts electrical signals from the attached earphone/microphone wire into acoustic waves. The chamber also incorporates microphone, voice-recognition compatibility and controls for on/off and mute.

Moving the electrical wire 5.5 inches from the ear reduces the level of radiation reaching the ear by as much as 98 percent, because radiation levels drop as a square of the distance from the ear, Elidan said.

The company cited the results of a lab test performed by Israel Radiation Protection Laboratory of Gedera, Israel, which found the level of the electromagnetic field at the ear fell 98 percent when a RadFree headset was used with a StarTac phone. Compared with a StarTac and standard headset, the radiation level fell 80 percent.

Sygnet is offering three mid-priced headset series at suggested retails of $24.95, with a margin of 50-plus points. The company also offers point-of-sale material, co-branding options, and a 5 percent advertising allowance or dollar-for-dollar match toward a retailer's advertising costs, Elidan said.

Each of the three series is targeted to different distribution channels. The Classic is targeted to carriers, wireless specialty stores and CE retailers. Colors is available in multiple colors for apparel and department stores, while Soft Touch, which uses silky material in different colors, is destined for pharmacy chains and possibly CE retailers, Elidan said.

Separate versions are available to plug into proprietary connections used by Siemens, Ericsson and Nokia phones. Sygnet also offers models with 2.5mm jacks for Motorola and most other brands. Sygnet eschews models with universal adapters because they reduce volume and frequency range, Elidan claimed.

All models come with three types of ear pads: sponge, soft rubber and hard rubber with ear-canal extension. Some also come with ear hooks.

The company also is preparing to offer a premium series with user-changeable colors and included ear pads in multiple adult sizes at a suggested retail of about $29.99. Also due is a kids' line of color headsets with kid-size, gel-type ear pads and a coiled cord to adjust the length of the electrical wire.

Early this year, the company will ship a Stylish Shades line of headsets that clip to a user's glasses, and Bluetooth headsets will follow several months later. The company won't make Bluetooth adapters for specific phone models, however.


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