| | Cool Bluetooth add-ons for your iPod, PC
By Rik Fairlie
Editor, Computer Shopper magazine
(January 9, 2004)
There wasn't a lot of buzz about Bluetooth at this year's CES, but a little digging turned up some seriously cool products that employ the wireless technology.
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BenQ's BMW-designed keyboard
Take, for instance, the NaviPlay wireless remote control and stereo adapter for the iPod from Ten Technologies, a device that sets iPod fans free from their headphone cords. The NaviPlay includes a Bluetooth adapter that attaches to the third-generation iPod's dock connector and a Bluetooth headphone adapter that allows use of any stereo headphones or speakers with a standard 3.5mm stereo plug. The headphone adapter also has an LCD and buttons for basic wireless remote audio functions, as well as playlist and menu navigation. The company says that the rechargeable lithium-ion battery will deliver roughly eight hours of airtime between charges. Ten Technologies plans to begin shipping the NaviPlay in first quarter of 2004. Pricing has not been finalized. Bluetooth keyboard and mouse with BMW style
For those of us who want to get our hands on a BMW but find the sporty roadster out of our price range, BenQ delivers an alternative. Its $140 s900 Wireless Optical Companion for Bluetooth is a sleek keyboard/mouse combo that was designed by BMW Group Design WorksUSA. And it shows: the slim profile sports low, swooping curves, and the device is nicely trimmed in silver and black.
The Bluetooth transceiver sits in a cradle that charges two AA batteries, so you'll never have to run out for juice when your cells fail in the middle of a project. Its keyboard employs S-Key technology that is similar to the scissors-key approach used on notebooks. The keyboard includes all of the expected programmable quick-launch buttons, as well as a cool scrollwheel on the left side. And if you prefer an even slimmer keyboard, you can detach the board from its adjustable frame. The s900 Wireless Optical Companion for Bluetooth is set to ship in March.
Rik Fairlie is the editor of Computer Shopper
magazine. Got a question for him? Let us know