Saturday, March 01, 2008

Bluetooth: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Before I get going on the topic of the day, I just wanted to send a quick shout out to my buddy Bill MacConnel (I delivered a welcome bag to Bill as a new Chamber member back at the end of December). Bill has decided to jump into this whole blogging thing. His first post shoots a few pointed barbs at the marketing and advertising industries. Might be a fun one to follow!

Anyway, on with our story.

A few weeks ago I finally picked up a Bluetooth headset for my cell phone. For those who don't know what that means, Bluetooth is a wireless communications protocol -- which means that I can have a headset (or in this case an earpiece) connected to my cell phone with no wires between them. I bought mine (a Jabra BT135) through for $15, though you can get them for much more. After using it for a couple of weeks now, I have a few observations.

First, the Good

I love this little gadget. A tap on the control button (there's only one button) and it takes me right into my phone's voice control feature. Hold it down a little longer and it re-dials the last number. The sound is clear despite the fact that I don't actually have to stick it in my ear. My wife, Lisa, says that she can't even tell that I'm using it, it picks up my voice so well. Heck, it's even comfortable to wear.

Next, the Bad

Actually, there isn't much bad to it. It does what it's supposed to do. About the only thing that doesn't work the way I'd like it to is that I can't listen to music through it. I have a "smart phone" which I use for a variety of purposes, including listening to podcasts that I've downloaded. As I understand it, if I wanted to do this, I should have purchased a Bluetooth stereo headset. Oh, well. Not that big a loss for me.

Finally, the Ugly

OK, I've seen people with these gadgets sticking out of their ears. They look like Borgs. Now I can understand doing this in an airport or something like that, but when you show up to a meeting wearing one of these? Well, you might not intend it to look that way, but it makes me feel like I am so unimportant that you would take any incoming call and interrupt our meeting. Not cool.

So, do you have a Bluetooth device of any kind? What do you think?

1 comment:

Debby said...

Gosh, Greg, I hope that my next experience is wonderful! You see I tried to use a Bluetooth ear thing with my old Blackberry, that was supposedly Bluetooth enabled. I paid the big bucks, $109, because I wanted the noise canceling software. Well, if never worked, even though I tried a second model. Many calls to "New Dehli" just kept in the continuous loop of completly starting over again each time, but never correcting the problem. I felt like I was in Groundhog Day!

So we get to the scary part. On the 11th, I will go back to my audiologist for my first check up since receiving my hearing aides. At that appointment she will do some minor programming to make them work even better AND will provide the Bluetooth apparatus that will transmit my phone audio directly to my hearing aides. Or at least that's the theory. I'll let you know what happens!