It has been a little while since I looked at any new gadgets in this blog, so today I am going to rectify that.
Back on the 13th of February I wrote a piece here on the Radio2020 Blog about Jeff Haley’s announcement of a mission to put radio receivers “on every mobile phone, PDA and MP3 player within the next five years” during his keynote speech at the RAB 2008 conference. Well, here it is four months later and we are starting to see that lofty goal begin to materialize.
Everyone has come to recognize the Bluetooth earpiece (or mobile headset as it is also called) as an accoutrement of the modern business world. I know a number of people who wear theirs constantly during the work day and beyond. Brando’s BTM-118 is an earpiece with a difference; it has an FM receiver and tuner built in!
Now Adam Hartley over at Tech Radar does not seem to be a fan of the idea, but he does provide a few comments on the device and a photo. The interesting part is this one:
While TechRadar is unsure of the extent of the market for such a device, Brando claims that its research proves there is enough demand to warrant the BTM-118.
It will be interesting to see whether research trumps opinion or vice versa. Mr. Hartley’s opinion notwithstanding, I feel this is an important jump forward. In his review he calls it “unweildly,” and it may well be. It is, however, the first generation of earpieces to include this option and I am sure that future versions from both Brando and their competitors will refine the concept.
In the meantime, it has attracted positive attention from sites such as Coolest Gadgets, Headset Gazette (which includes a nice gallery of photos of the BTM-118), and DigitalBurn. The Brando website has product details for this new device here.
Photo courtesy of the Brando website