June 7, 2011

imageWhen I had a look-see at the first Looxcie last October, I couldn’t overlook many of the disadvantages of the innovative Bluetooth camcorder headset. It was large – ostentatiously so – and had poor video quality. Well, it looks like the company has made significant progress in less than a year. While still no HD rival to a Kodak Playfull or GoPro, the Looxcie 2 looks small enough to pass for a reasonable headset and the video quality has been upped to VGA (yes, I just wrote “upped to VGA.”).

Perhaps more importantly, and taking a cue from GoPro,, the Looxcie 2 now offers a variety of mounts so that you can tune your level of conspicuousness. It remains a unique product, and at $200, comes in significantly below the HD wearable cams for capturing cheap thrill even as video capture options are coming to capture even cheaper thrills.

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October 17, 2010

imageI suppose you could loosely file this one under the topic of fixed-mobile convergence. While the wired headset is rapidly giving way to the Bluetooth variety, Native Union has dispensed with portability entirely to create an objet d’art that is intended to provide comfort for a prolonged cell phone call. Of course, one could just use the speakerphone, but he quality is often muffled and, as with Bluetooth, you’ll see your battery run out more quickly.

The moshi moshi 02 is a low-profile, modern handset. While its weight definitely conveys a feeling of quality, though, it might be nice to have something a bit lighter to toss in a travel bag in anticipation of long conference calls from hotel rooms.

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June 13, 2010

In looking at some headsets recently, I had a great conversation with Travis Bogard, executive director of product management and strategy at Aliph, makers of the excellent Jawbone line of headsets. Travis shared that Aliph views the evolution of the headset into something that wil become such an everyday wearable aid that it will be a constant audio companion even when

Today, however, there’s still significant backlash against wearing your headset all the time. That leads me to question where people who use headsets put them when they are not wearing them. Manufacturers take great pains to design a headset around the shape of an ear, but that makes them somewhat awkward to store anywhere else.

Sure, a breast pocket is a safe bet but other clothes cavities don’t work as well. They bulge in shirt pockets and could take a lot of abuse in pants pockets. Few headsets come with their own protective cases; the high-tech charging one of the Plantronics Discovery 975 is an exception among current products. I recently tried a $6 generic case I bought of eBay to store a headset. While the case accommodated the headset fine it adds quite a bit of bulk. Ideally, I’d like to see cell phone cases redesigned to include a small add-on for the Bluetooth headset or a design tha could clip securely t a belt. Those would probably be the best alternatives to the unique design of the LG Decoy.

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