Motorola puts Bluetooth in motorcycle helmet


25 Nov 2002

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Mobile manufacturer, Motorola, has just unveiled what it claims is the world’s first Bluetooth-enabled motorcycle helmet.

The helmet, although at present a concept product, uses similar technology to the existing Motorola Bluetooth headset and may be available in the shops subject to demand.

Bluetooth is a relatively new technology that enables wireless communication between devices.

Unlike the older infra-red standard, Bluetooth does not require line-of-sight for operation and can operate at distances of up to 10 metres. At present, its prime application is seen in cable replacement.

Bluetooth-enabled laptops, personal digital assistants, mobile phones and mobile headsets are already on the market.

Motorola itself plans to launch a Bluetooth car-kit in the coming months.

The new design was exhibited this weekend at the International Motorcycle Show in Birmingham.

The product was designed by David Townsend and Harold Wikel of Motorola’s design team in conjunction with Momo, a specialist designer of motorcycle helmets.

The Bluetooth helmet works much like the Bluetooth headset already on the market, offering hands-free, wireless connection between the helmet and a Bluetooth-enabled phone.

The idea behind it is that bikers can leave mobile phones in a pocket or backpack and still make or take calls via the helmet.

Whether it’s safe to make phone calls while riding a motorbike is a question we’ll leave to the authorities.

Given the recent confusion over regulations on mobile phones in cars, it may be a while before we find out the answer to that one.

By Dick O’Brien