Wireless technology Bluetooth could spell the end for proprietary in-car mobile phone hands-free kits within two years, according to Motorola.
Most mobile phone car kits only work for one make of phone or even just one particular model. But Motorola claims the market for proprietary mobile phone car kits could dry up as Bluetooth-enabled kits hit the shelves in time for Christmas.
"Bluetooth takes away the proprietary market but it gives us a much bigger market in return," said Harbans Dass, sales director for Motorola's Automatic Consumer Electronics division.
Currently, in-car phones have to be placed in a special cradle wired up to a microphone and the car's speakers. When the phone is not in the cradle a hands-free call cannot be made, and each cradle will only work with one type of phone.
But with a Bluetooth-enabled car kit all the driver has to do is press a button on their car kit, which finds all Bluetooth phones in the car.
The driver then receives a message on their phone asking them if they want to "pair up" the phone with the hands-free device. Once the phone and car kit are "paired" the driver can make phone calls without being distracted from driving and the phone can stay in their pocket or handbag.
Normal proprietary car kits can cost up to £1,000 to install. Dass said Bluetooth car kits would be significantly cheaper - at around £275 - as car manufacturers are not tied to any one make of phone and will be able to buy in volume.
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