They'll be everywhere in a few years time.
Whatever my gripes about Bluetooth it does inspire some pretty fantastic gadgets and few make them cooler than Parrot. In its latest announcement the company famous for its Bluetooth car kits has produced two items I definitely want in my living room.
The first finally brings one of the great IT urban legends to be: the wireless speaker set. In an example of stunningly literal naming Parrot has called its take the ‘SOUND SYSTEM’. The capitals are appropriate too because this Bluetooth 2.0 equipped stereo set provides 2x 60W output with integrated Class-D digital amplifiers.
It is fully compatible with any Bluetooth device be it a mobile phone, PDA, MP3 player, PC or notebook and an analogue input also means it can be plugged into any traditional music source. Being Bluetooth of course, the speakers must be situated within 10-15m of the device they are streaming from (depending on walls) but otherwise a fantasy of mine has just come true.
The SOUND SYSTEM will retail for a not-insubstantial-but-could’ve-been-worse £244.99 when it lands on shelves this summer. I suggest all potential buyers play havoc with demo units by pairing up their mobile phones as they walk by.
Second in the lust list is an innovation that will have printer manufacturers sweating like a Microsoft exec in a Google board meeting. The Parrot PHOTO VIEWER (yes, caps overload again) is a picture frame with a 73.5 x 53.5mm, 320 x 234 resolution, 262k colour TFT and inbuilt Bluetooth 1.2. It can receive jpegs of up to 7m pixels from any Bluetooth enabled device and stores them on its 32MB of internal memory.
An automatic portrait a landscape sensor orientates the snap and resizes it while there are also fixed and slideshow display functions. A light sensor shuts off the picture frame when it is in the dark. Leather or white leaded oak frames will be available at release this summer with others to follow. The RRP is a little hefty at £156.99 but I can only see massive potential for future generations of this product.
Image the possibilities: interlinked frames around your home of various sizes with different picture profiles depending on who visits and the ability to instantly put digital photographs up around your home. No custom frame building required, no professional fitting, no photo developing or home printing. You gotta love the 21st Century.