RIM BlackBerry Bluetooth Vehicle Visor Mount: First Look
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
I just returned from a tour of Research In Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry booth at CES 2009, and though there were lots of noteworthy devices, applications and services on display—stay tuned to the Mobile WorkHorse blog for more details–one product in particular caught my eye: The as-of-yet unreleased “Blackberry Bluetooth Visor Mount.”
There aren’t too many details available on the new RIM offering, which clips onto your vehicle’s visor—in fact, it doesn’t even have an official name yet, hence the quotations in the last paragraph. But it’s expected to become available during the first of half 2009, according to Tenille Kennedy, the RIM PR representative who conducted my booth tour. (Thanks again Tenille!)
The BlackBerry Bluetooth Visor Mount is similar to existing in-car Bluetooth speaker phones, but it also lets you stream music from your BlackBerry device to a vehicle’s stereo system via an FM frequency.
With more and more U.S. states passing mobile-phone-driving restrictions, it’s a smart move on RIM’s part to attempt to capitalize on the new legislation with BlackBerry branded products like the upcoming Bluetooth Visor. It could also be a great alternative to awkward and sometimes ugly Bluetooth headsets—though audio quality will be an important deciding factor in whether or not users embrace it. I’ve used a number of in-vehicle speaker phones and never really liked any of them due to the poor call quality they offered—at least the ones that aren’t built-in, like in some new Lexus vehicles.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.