GN Netcom is well known for its hands-free communications solutions. The group consists of two divisions: Mobile Division, which manufactures, markets and distributes the Jabra brand of hands-free products for the mobile consumer market; and Contact Center and Office Division, which manufactures, markets and distributes the GN Netcom brand of hands-free communications products to the contact center, office and PC applications markets.
The company announced during the Consumer Electronics Show 2004 (CES) a new line of dual-use Bluetooth headsets that allow the use of a single headset with both desktop and mobile phones - eliminating the hassle of juggling multiple headsets for different phones.
The first two headsets in the new product line are the GN 6110 (available Q1 2004), which uses a tiny and light fold-out form factor and the GN 6210 (available Q2 2004), which uses the comfortable over-the-ear form factor first made popular by GN Netcom’s Jabra FreeSpeak headset.
The company developed the dual-use technology at its R&D facilities in its world headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark. This technology builds upon the Bluetooth wireless protocol – previously only capable of linking a headset to single device at a time – by adding an additional software layer to the headset.
The extra layer allows the headset to pair concurrently with both a desk phone and a mobile phone. An included base station, which incorporates a Bluetooth transceiver as well as the headset’s charger, is connected to the landline phone. Users can then simply press the “answer/call” button on the GN 6110 or GN 6210 headset if either the mobile phone OR the desk phone rings – no awkward wires, no fumbling with two headsets.
Similarly, users can initiate an outgoing call by simply pressing the same button. If the headset detects the base station in proximity, it will initiate a connection to the desk phone, ready for dialing. If not, it opens a connection to the mobile phone, which can be dialled manually, or if supported by the phone, by voice command.
GN Netcom’s market research illustrated that today’s business professional has dramatically increased the percentage of work calls outside of his or her office. Whether travelling, commuting or working from home, today’s professional doesn’t stop working at the office door. The result is an increasing dependence on both an office phone and a mobile phone. GN Netcom is meeting a market need by allowing the same headset to be used for all calls, whether through a mobile phone, or a landline phone, simplifying communications for today’s professional. Since the base station is attached to the phone through the standard handset, the GN 6110 and GN 6210 can work with literally any landline phone on the market – whether digital or analog.
Both headsets provide the Bluetooth-standard 30 feet of range. The headsets are fully compatible with GN Netcom’s optional GN 1000 remote handset lifter, providing the ultimate in flexibility by raising and lowering a desktop telephone’s handset automatically. A travel charger is bundled with the headsets allowing users to conveniently recharge their headset when on the road, without needing to unplug the transceiver from the landline phone.
The GN 6110 (images right and below) boasts an incredibly tiny form factor weighing under one ounce and with a diameter of only 50 mm (under two inches) when closed - perfect for dropping into a shirt pocket. The unit features a talk time of four hours with a standby time of one week. Also, the headset features a reversible earhook allowing it to work on either ear – but an imbedded tilt sensor ensures that the button orientation remains the same regardless of which way the headset is worn.
The GN 6210 uses an “over-the-ear” form factor already popularized by GN Netcom’s hugely successful Jabra FreeSpeak Bluetooth headset. The headset is made of a soft, sound-absorbing elastomer material that reduces distortions, resulting in crisp sound quality. The earpiece and microphone boom fit behind either ear for a comfortable, secure fit. The earpiece also features the JABRA MiniGel. This soft, ergonomic gel tip channels sound directly into the user’s ear for better reception and improved ability to hear conversations clearly even in noisy environments. It features a talk time up to four hours with a standby time of up to 100 hours.