Jabra's latest Bluetooth headsets come with a bizarre extra—a charger base-station equipped with a color touchscreen. Is this product design for a world gone mad, or just a handy extra?
The Jabra Go 6400 headsets look pretty typical—a tiny on-ear gizmo that makes people look at you oddly as you gabble into it while walking the street. While the earpiece has dual microphones for noise cancellation, its base station serves as a convenient desktop stand when you're not using it. And there's a neat magnetic latch that keeps it in place while you're juicing up its batteries.
So far, so good, in terms of sensible design. But that base station also includes a 2.4-inch capacitive color touchscreen. This turns the base-station into a chunky accessory that must have twenty times the volume of the diminutive earpiece. The screen lets you interface with the base-stations electronics, and the earpiece, so that you can switch between cellphone calls, landline and VOIP calls, which is probably pretty useful if you're working in an office environment. And it does support caller ID.
But, seriously, a touchscreen? A tiny LCD and a single physical button could do the same tricks. I know we're predicting touchscreens will be everywhere pretty soon, but in this case it smacks of technical gadgetry design overkill. Or at least, it smacks of hearty profits at Jabra. Because this beast will set you back a whopping $199 when it comes out in September.
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