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Plantronics Concept Headsets Could Challenge Google Glass

Publish Date:

Sunday, July 28, 2013


News Organization:

Chip Chick

Source URL:

Plantronics is known for pumping out Bluetooth headsets, but one of their latest headsets bring a little more to the table than the average headset. That is because Plantronics is packing in smart sensors designed to bring advanced gesture control to their devices. And from the looks of it, they’re going to be doing a lot more with a Bluetooth connection than we’ve seen before.

One of Plantronics’ most advanced headsets is their Concept 1 Wearable which they were busy showing off at the Wearable Tech Conference in New York City this week, where the company also delivered a keynote. Unlike the company’s other headsets, this one has sensors that gauge distance from connected devices, whether or not the headset is being worn, tap detection, and yes/no gesture recognition. This concept ups the ante by adding in head tracking and a pedometer, all in one small, wireless Bluetooth headset.

So, what’s the point? Why have all these sensors on one device? Turns out, there’s no shortage of points. Plantronics has fleshed out their concept by showing off just what you can do with it, and the possibilities are intriguing. Their headset can facilitate communication between a smartphone and a PC – with a few gestures, converting an incoming call from a phone call to a Skype call happened in seconds. That’s in addition to features we’ve seen on Bluetooth headsets before, like the ability to accept calls just by picking up the headset and putting it on.

The key to this headset is the SDK that Plantronics has released. With all of the sensors present in this headset, third party developers have made their own contributions. One new app would use caller ID information – once the sensors detect an incoming call, they can alert the PC, which would use Salesforce to bring up the caller’s business profile. Plantronics also demonstrated how you can lock your PC in the office just by taking your headset off, or have your device post a tweet every time some activity happens (taking it off, putting it on, accepting a call). On Twitter, that prospect doesn’t seem that enticing, but if it could be applied to software that businesses use for internal communication, like Lync, it could be handy for managers to keep track of what employees are working on. Head tracking could be used along with GPS for some augmented reality-esque applications. Plantronics suggests that the head tracking sensors could be paired with GPS and Google Street View to pinpoint not just your location, but your angle of vision, so you can better figure out where you are if you’re traveling in a place where you can’t read the street signs. There are tons of other potential applications for the kind of sensors Plantronics is stuffing into their headsets and, since that is SDK is out in the wild, I’m sure we’ll see some of them very soon.

You can get more information about what Plantronics is working on by watching the video below.

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