Monday, August 2, 2010

The joys of bluetooth

My VW has a built-in handsfree cellphone kit. The mic is built into the headliner, and everything is integrated with the dash, steering wheel controls and radio. It's wonderful. I can leave my phone on bluetooth now, and when I get into the car, the car becomes the handset.
Now I hate people who use cellphones in cars - weaving, slowing down, leaning towards the centre of the car like some they all have some weird disfigurement. Until I had this car, I would never make or take a call when driving. I was derided and made fun of on occasion for pulling into a parking lot to take a call. But now I have an interesting option. Because I don't need to fuss with the phone, I can make a call using the steering wheel controls. Better yet, if someone phones me, I have the option to ignore the call and send it to voicemail.
I'm not sure this is any safer than actually using the phone physically - I find myself distracted a bit when using the handsfree - more so than just talking to someone in the car with me. But it's nice to have the option.
It seems I might be softening in my stance on useless crap in modern cars. This is the first piece of gadgetry I've found a use for.


pjvenda said...

A very good point. Good hands free headsets are safer than using a mobile in the traditional way. But are they "safe"? I find myself distracted whilst chatting with my wife in person, let alone on the phone...

Anonymous said...

There is no difference in using handsfree or not. It is not safe ineither way. It should be banned to talk to phone at wheel at all.The reason?

1. The voice quality is not perfect in mobile phones. The spectrum is clipped and so the voice timbre is removed. No big deal human brain can recover the lost harmonics but it takes a lot of brain "proccessing" power. The main reason why drivers drive like drunk when talking by phone.
2. Talking by phone is NOT the same as to talk with passenger as the person in other end is not avare of traffic you are in. Passengers now when to talk and when to pause.

Chris said...

I agree on the passenger thing, although I know when to stop talking and for the most part, people on the other end know I'm driving and accept that if I've gone quiet, it means I need to concentrate, have driven into a tunnel, or I'm lying in a twisted wreck of burning metal.