Remember the old 007 Bond films ? Remember all the cool tech stuff that "M" and "Q" used to feed James Bond ? Well how did they communicate. Even in the earliest films, they depicted wireless comunications.
Bluetooth devices come in a range of genres;
- VoIP systems
- more, more and more
There are many manufactures for each of those product genres; Jabra| Logitech | JBL | Favi | Epson | Ooma | Vonage | Epson | Vuepoint and more. So how do you choose a device? Well much like getting a laptop, a Blutooth device is going to be an investment, that should last as long if not longer that the device you are connecting it to.
For headsets and headphones, there are three major players; Jabra and Plantronics appear to have cornered the market on smart phone and office phone systems, while Logitech is known for there wireless technology for gaming and computer headsets/headphones. This is not to downplay great corded head phones such as offerings by Ludicris, House of Marley, and Ultimate Ears (by Logitech). Again, what do you want from a headset ? Do you want it to just listen to music ? Do you want it to control music and calls ? Do you need something that performs equally as well across the major platforms (portable and desktop?Something to consider is that Apple has controls on its iPhone/iPod/iPad series of devices that allows for a three button control system; volume up or down and call control. This means that if the device is a true Apple compatible device, it will still work with others, but the volume and call controls will be phone device based, and not headset based. An example of this is the Jabra Revo. Jabra does a great job with this, and appears (via search engine research) to be the only headset that is both wire and wireless at the same time, therefor spanning all devices and OS's.
Bluetooth Speakers come in all shapes and sizes. Some are rugged, some are water resistant some are works of art. Some of the smaller ones have room filling sound, some of the larger ones are basically like a new age boom box. Some include docks and clocks. Some docks are universal, some are geared to a certain device, ie: the new lightening connector for the iPhone 5 line. NYNE has a great rugged and portable Bluetooth speaker in the NB-200 which also includs mounting features for your bike so you can go in style. It can take the bumps and grinds of the mountains and is loud enough to have clarity over the city sounds, and everyting in between.
If you are of petite stature (or at least your hands), the onscreen keybpoards of most devices will suffice. When a user is big, say the writer, at 6'1" and 260 Lbs, an "o" becomes an "i" or a "9". Auto correct doesn't do much better at times. For portability and ease of use for all hand and finger sizes, a top notch Bluetooth keybord is the Favi wireless keyboard. It fits in the palm of your hand and is extremely comefortable with one or two thumb use.
For VoIP, there are so many choices;
- Magic Jack
They have all been tested and reviewed in my columns. They all performed true to form and had (for the most part) the same qualities and inclusions. There is one however that allows you to connect your cellphone to its system so you can eliminate dropped calls by keeping your cell in a prime reception spot in your home. That product is the Ooma Telo system. Aside from the crystal clear quality. it offers an optional USB device to plug into the main box that will allow you to place your cell phone in a prime reception spot and take calls via bluetooth to your Ooma or regular hand set (which ever you hook up.
As for printers, this is a different breed of wireless. Where as WiFi is designed for longer ranges, Bluetooth is designed for short distance commuication from one device (enabled) to another, while keeping power consumption low. This also means that you do not take up a wireless node on your router to print to such a device. If your device is not bluetooth compatble or ready, you will need either a bluetooth dongle or adapter to take advantage of what i t has to offer.
In doing research, there are two printer manufacturers that come up in search engine findings; Canon and Ricoh. Do your own research, ask the questions and get what is right for you and your purpose.
Until the next wave of tips, if you have any questions or suggestions, please send an email.