Substituting a USB port for a cigarette lighter.
You know the deal: Parrot *heart* everything Bluetooth. So what has it cooked up this time?
The answer is the ‘PMK5800’ and while the name may not be that interesting, its form factor is. Unlike virtually all Bluetooth car kits on the market the PMK5800 requires no installation whatsoever instead simply plugging into a cigarette lighter (like any 12V accessory) and offers both handsfree calling and audio streaming.
How does it do this: by utilising an embedded FM emitter which you can tune to a free radio frequency. Of course this method can impact the quality of audio streaming (a big issue with early iTrips which used a similar system) but in this instance it should be up to Parrot’s usual high standards since digital signal processing, and echo noise cancellation software are inbuilt plus voice recognition. On the streaming side of things the inclusion of A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution) means music will benefit from a full greater fidelity.
A plastic ring around the base of the device itself ensures compatibility with all cigarette lighters and a dual side LED screen means the driver can set the display whichever way is most comfortable (or for whichever country they are in) – clever.
But the best news about the PMK5800 is its price: just 89 euros (£60) and there’s obviously none of the usual installation charges. With a release scheduled for this summer your last excuse for ignoring handsfree conversations just expired…