Scott Pringle, Director – program Management at BlueAnt says Bluetooth 3.0 devices have finally, finally come of age and are vital to complete the smartphone/tablet/entertainment experience.
With its world headquarters in Melbourne and offices in Hong Kong and Chicago it is becoming known as an innovator in the field.
“You have to look hard, even amongst the better known brands, to find so many of our leading features in the one device (referring to the new Q3 smartphone earpiece) like our 7 hour talk time and 100 hour standby, Siri and Google voice integration, A2DP streaming audio, Wideband audio, multi-point (2 phones connected to one headset), voice control and conference call mode” he said. “We use Aussies to do the design, manufacture in China and try to sell worldwide. By sheer persistence and aiming high BlueAnt is now one of the world’s top 5 Bluetooth device companies” he said.
But a new fashionable gadget caught my eye – the BlueAnt Ribbon that is a handy stereo Bluetooth streamer.
It pairs with your smart phone, tablet, MP3 or Bluetooth equipped computer and allows you to stream music to headphones (or any sound device) up to 10 metres away. The inbuilt Lithium Ion battery lasts about 6 hours playtime but you can play and USB charge at the same time. You simply clip the 14.5g Ribbon (looks like a blue version of the Pink Ribbon “twist” worn for charity) onto your shirt or shirt and plug in the ear buds there.
But wait there is more. It has a microphone as well so you can use it as a hands free device to take and make calls from your smartphone or use it in the car (smartphones are allowed to use Bluetooth ear pieces but we recommend the use of a dedicated in car kit like the BlueAnt Commute).
And more – if a device like a car sound system, TV, entertainment, dock unit only has line in or and does not have Bluetooth you can use the headphone socket to provide a line out to play sound via them too.
The Ribbon has an RRP of $79 and can be bought on-line or from major retailers.
Rating: Pretty good and low cost enough to have around to use when you need it.
PS – a real Blue ant (Diamma bicolour) is not a blue ant at all but rather a species of large solitary parasitic wasps’ native to Australia in Tasmania, NSW, VIC and SA. They grow up to 25mm and because they are wingless are ground dwelling. Their sting can cause burning sensation and anaphylaxis. Pretty appropriate name for an Aussie player in a highly competitive global market.