Download (direct link):
acura.com/models/handsfreelink_index.asp?referrer=acura to see someone using their Bluetooth-enabled phone with their Acura car.
Now for the disclaimers. Not all Bluetooth-enabled phones work with all Bluetooth-enabled cars. Before you buy that $45,000 accessory (a new car, in other words) for your Bluetooth phone, ask if the car supports your specific phone and service plan — and ask them to “pair up” the phone to make sure it works in the car you want. For instance, at the time of this writing, Bluetooth was only partially implemented on some cellular provider’s phones. We found one user on the Audi technical support forums with this to say: “I am unable to download my address book, the car’s signal strength meter does not work,
188 Part III: Wireless on the Go
the car can not recall the last numbered dialed. I am able to make calls through the car’s multi-media interface. The rumor is that [my carrier] is considering fully supporting Bluetooth in the near future.” So try before you buy.
You can find a lot out about your car’s Bluetooth integration — and other wireless tidbits from actual users — at Inside Line (www.edmunds.com/ insideline/do/ForumsLanding), by car expert Edmunds.com. In the Maintenance and Repair Forums for each car type, you’ll find the lowdown on your car’s wireless capabilities.
Bluetooth aftermarket options
If you are like us, you don’t have a Bluetooth-enabled car and you don’t have a Bluetooth-enabled phone. That doesn’t mean you are left out of this revolution! You can get Bluetooth adapters for your phone (or get a new phone), and you can buy and install a Bluetooth aftermarket kit to enable your car.
Like anything else in life, the more functionality you want, the more it costs. The easy answer is to buy a new Bluetooth phone (as we write, we crave a Treo 650 from Handspring — www.handspring.com). You are probably on a cellphone term plan with your cellular provider — check out their site for information on Bluetooth-enabled phones. Here are some URLs for the major U.S. carriers:
1^ Cingular: http://onlinestorez.cingular.com/cell-phone-
service/cell-phones/cell-phones.jsp?CategoryId=17172 00 03 7& CategoryId=17172 00 02 7
T-Mobile: www.t-mobile.com/products/default.asp?class=phone Verizon: www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/splash/bluetooth.jsp
If your phone or PDA has an SDIO (Secure Digital Input/Output) card slot, you can add an SD Bluetooth Card that adds a Bluetooth radio to the device.
Just because a device has an SDIO card slot doesn’t mean that it can take an SDIO Bluetooth card. SD cards are used for lots of things and you need to make sure that your device has software drivers for Bluetooth functionality before it will work. Case in point: The fabulous Treo 600 unit from PalmOne has an SDIO card slot, but does not support a Bluetooth SDIO card. Do your research to be positive that a device offers driver support before you order anything for your phone or PDA. The best source for info is the device manufacturer’s own Web site; search for Bluetooth to find information fast.
Chapter 11: Outfitting Your Car with Wireless 189
Want to find out more about SDIO cards? There are lots of neat applications, including TV tuner SDIO cards. Check out the SD Card Association’s summary of SDIO cards at www.sdcard.com/usa/TextPage.asp?Page=5.
For your car, there are a range of aftermarket kits to transform your car into wireless central. The most common aftermarket kits on the market today come from Motorola, Nokia, Parrot, and Sony Ericsson — and they range from professionally installed units to small portable ones that clip on your visor or plug into your cigarette lighter. Here’s a sample of the growing number of kits on the market:
Motorola (www.hellomoto.com) has three units. The top of the line is the Motorola BLNC Bluetooth Car Kit IHF1000 ($240). The IHF1000 supports voice activation in four languages. The mid-range product is the HF850 ($150), which has many of the same features of the IHF1000 but has less sophisticated voice recognition capability. Both the IHF1000 and HF850 have a backlit controller that is mounted to the dashboard. At the low end is the HF820 ($100), which is a portable product that requires no installation and can be carried into, and out of, any car you drive.
For more on Motorola Bluetooth products, go here: http://promo. motorola.com/bluetooth/index.html.
^ Parrot (www.driveblue.com) has three aftermarket kits — the Evolution 3000 ($114.99), 3100 ($199.99), and 3300 ($349.99) — which are installed units that offer either no LCD, LCD, or LCD plus GPS, respectively.
^ Parrot also has two plug-and-play units. The Parrot EasyDrive is designed to plug into your cigarette lighter and provides hands-free operation (using a tethered control unit; see Figure 11-1) when paired to the Bluetooth phone ($99). The DriveBlue Plus ($79) is a similar but slightly older model that has a clip-on capability.