updated 10:05 am EDT, Thu October 12, 2006
Parrot Hands-Free Kit
Bluetooth systems for cars are no longer rare. Even so, most are single-purpose and only handle phone calls: other Bluetooth audio devices are largely wasted. Wireless specialist Parrot has realized this and developed its new MK6000 hands-free kit to give all the mobile devices in a car an opportunity to use the speaker system. It still performs the traditional task of routing calls through a vehicle's speakers and includes a dual-microphone adapter to ensure voice accuracy, but can also pair with a music-capable cellphone, a dedicated music player with a Bluetooth transmitter, or any audio source that fits the A2DP profile to stream music. To reflect this role, the MK6000 has basic music controls and will automatically pause music while a call is in progress. Parrot promises to ship the kit in early 2007 for $240.
For those who only require a conventional speakerphone, Parrot also recently announced its MINIKIT mobile device. A one-piece microphone and speaker, the MINIKIT not only relays calls from Bluetooth cellphones but relies on voice recognition to make it a true hands-free system. Up to five different phones' contact lists can be given 150 voice tags each, making it possible to dial any number through speaking a keyword. The MINIKIT should be available later this month for $125. Click through for a photo.