updated 10:54 am EST, Thu January 16, 2014
Button on Jawbone Era triggers Google Now, Siri
Jawbone has launched a revised item in its range of Bluetooth headsets, with more of a focus on voice recognition, as it attempts to fight back against wearable technology such as Google Glass. The Jawbone Era introduces a button on the back of the earpiece that, when pressed and held, will activate Google Now or Siri on a connected mobile device without requiring any button presses on the host smartphone or tablet.
Claimed to be 42 percent more compact when compared to the earlier model, the Era still manages to use custom DSP algorithms for high audio quality, with a new earbud and audio porting system using the entire acoustic chamber for more direct sound transmission. NoiseAssassin 4.0 algorithms are combined with improved MEMS microphones to make the headset more accurate in reducing background noise and filtering out speech, potentially improving the accuracy of virtual assistants.
It also includes Wideband audio support, which will let the Era receive further improved audio for FaceTime, Skype, and Google Hangouts, and its battery is said to last for up to 10 hours of talk time from a single charge when used with an optional charging case, or up to four hours of talk time on its own.
Jawbone has started shipping the Era and a charging case for $130 in a choice of four colors through its website and Verizon stores, with it appearing at other stores from January 24th. The headset alone without the charging case costs $99.