In the world of in-car communication, Bluetooth devices have worked a minirevolution, allowing drivers to receive and make calls without taking their hands from the wheel. Now it looks as if this technology is about to be applied to the in-car entertainment market as well.
Making use of a sophisticated Bluetooth profile called A2DP--which stands for advanced audio distribution profile--drivers and passengers will be able to stream high-quality audio from portable MP3 players, cell phones, and PDAs through their stereo head units without wires or the loss of audio quality that's associated with FM transmitters. Rollout of this technology will necessarily be dictated by the pace at which car-stereo manufacturers and producers of portable MP3 players make their respective products A2DP-compatible. At present, only a minority of new cell phones and even fewer portable MP3 players ship with any kind of Bluetooth capability, but things might be about to change.
According to the Japanese tech site Akihabara News, Pioneer Electronics has started the ball rolling for A2DP car stereos with the release of its DEH-P810 Bluetooth-enabled head unit, while French audio company Parrot has also taken up the next-gen Bluetooth gauntlet, offering A2DP-enabled in-car stereo kits for OEM integration. Among mobile devices, Samsung has taken a lead, having released its A2DP-enabled SBH-300 MP3 player in March and just this week unveiling its SGH-D900 slider phone that also supports A2DP.
Samsung's press office couldn't immediately confirm whether either of these devices will be available in the United States any time soon, and so it may be that this technology will take off in Asia and Europe before it comes here--quelle surprise!)
When A2DP does arrive, however, it could spell the end for the auxiliary input jack.