LOOK! Eureka’s Tribute to the Bluetooth Earpiece That Could Soon Grace the City’s South Entrance

The people of Humboldt can be proud of their new city entrance, it is in the shape of a bluetooth earpiece, The monument appears to be in the shape of an earpiece sat up-wards, it’s a long leap to see it from the road (see image) but it definitely resembles a bluetooth earpiece.

Last week, the South Entry Project study group unveiled its latest plans for improving user experience for travelers entering our fair city. One of the most visually notable components of the facelift proposed by Redding-based engineering group Green Dot Transportation Solutions is a spiral concrete sculpture thingamabob to be constructed just south of the Herrick Avenue overpass (see below).

What does that thing look like? LoCO asked itself. Then it hit us. It looks like a Bluetooth earpiece, of course! Amirite? Maybe we’re promoting safe driving, here? LoCO no know.

Anyway, the sculpture, as well as other less earpiece-ish aspects of the South Entry Project — trees, medians, etc. — are the result of months of meetings wherein community feedback was sought. Since LoCO knows our readers prefer things to be on the interwebs, we will direct your discerning eyeballs to the “Preferred Alternative” page of the Eureka South Entry website where you can scope out some visuals of planned enhancements.

According to the North Coast Journal, Green Dot still needs to submit the plan to Caltrans for approval. After that, the Eureka City Council can choose to vote this glorious tribute to safe, hands-free devices into reality.

Addendum: Many LoCO commenters have expressed indignation that the city should be spending money on this type of project when more serious issues exist. This is an entirely understandable sentiment, though it should be noted that, so far, the city has only paid for a study, the majority of which ($45,000 of the $75,000 price tag) was funded by a grant from the California Transportation Commission.

City Engineer Charles Roecklein said the city will pursue more grant funding to finance the construction of the project itself, assuming it gets that far. And he’s optimistic about finding those funds. “It’s like the mayor said, somebody’sgonna get those grant funds,” Roecklein said. “There’s grant money for this kind of project.”

Source – http://lostcoastoutpost.com/2015/apr/27/look-eurekas-tribute-bluetooth-earpiece-could-soon/

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Concept Headphones That Won’t Get You Killed While Biking

“EVERY SINGLE DAY, I see at least five or six people with headphones on while cycling,” says Gemma Roper. The designer and recent graduate of London’s Royal College of Art finds the habit a troubling distraction but also an understandable tactic of using music to soften a harsh daily commute.

The problem is that cyclists also need to stay alert to certain sounds in order to be safe while weaving through traffic. Riding is already dicey in London, Roper says, because the local infrastructure accommodates bus and car traffic over cyclists. The city has seen eight cyclist fatalities so far this year; last year, there were 13. Roper decided that music pumping through earphones shouldn’t contribute to the risk. Her Safe + Sound headphone design uses bone conduction to play tunes through wearers’ cheekbones, instead of directly into their eardrums, so they can still detect ambient noise.

Bone-conduction headphones work by playing soundwave vibrations on top of bones, which then transmit the waves into to the Cochlea, or inner ear, bypassing the delicate eardrum. It could work anywhere on the body but works best near the ear. The technique itself is old—Beethoven, who was deaf, crafted a crude conductive listening device by biting on a metal rod attached to his piano—and a few other headphone makers have rolled out models using the technology in recent years.

Roper’s Safe + Sound are made with cycling helmets in mind. Most of the bone-conduction headphones on the market are wrap around the ear (like these, and these), with nodes that rest more or less where a helmet strap would sit. Asking cyclists to layer up headgear is an uncomfortable and unreasonable ask. At the same time, making any modifications to the helmet that might deter a rider from wearing one is out of the question. So Roper created something that could clip onto to a helmet’s straps. While testing out the idea, she also found that asking cyclists to tote around two pairs of headphones will slow down adoption, so her buds convert into a regular pair of headphones; the modular bone-conducting pieces fit magnetically into a pair of gold muffs.

London has yet to pass a ban on wearing headphones while riding a bike, and only five states in the U.S. forbid the practice. For now, Roper’s design, a working prototype, could be the transitional object cyclists need before giving up their headphones cold turkey.

Wearing a headset or a pair of earphones whilst cycling is a dangerous game to play, particularly in busy cities. This headset from broadbandchoices.co.uk is a simple idea and more importantly is safe. 

Pryme Radio Products features Bluetooth accessories in latest additions to product portfolio

The IWCE was a great event this year, with lots of great companies and exhibitors. Particular noted showcase’s were Pryme and their new Bluetooth range. You can find the original source of the article on this website 

Pryme Radio Products recently showcased four accessories that leverage Bluetooth technology as the California-based manufacturer continues to expand its product portfolio supporting both two-way-radio and cellular users.

Introduced at IWCE 2015, Pryme Radio Products’ new BTH-600 is a heavy-duty Bluetooth wireless speaker microphone that supports push-to-talk (PTT) capability on two-way radios, according to Pryme Radio Products President Dave George. By loading different software into the headset, the user can utilize PTT applications that are available on cellular phone, he said.

Based on Pryme’s Storm Trooper platform, the BTH-600 is waterproof and utilizes an off-the-shelf, rechargeable cell-phone battery, George said.

“One of the coolest things about it is that it’s got a big battery—it can run for 40 hours of continuous duty on a single charge, and it can be in standby mode for 30 days,” George said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “

The BTH-300 is a small, lightweight clip-on box that converts any wired Apple iPhone accessory into a Bluetooth headset, according to company literature. Featuring 10 hours of battery life, a built-in PTT switch and a built-in noise-canceling microphone, the BTH-300 can be used during covert operations—there is no visible LED light—and supports both radio and cellular communications, George said.

“This will work both with radio dongles and with cell phones at the same time,” he said. “It has a separate button on it for answering phone calls, and it has technology inside of it that will allow you to prioritize whether you want to ignore the two-way-radio calls while you are on you cell phone, or whether you want to ignore the cell phone calls when you are on a two-way-radio call.”

For those using Motorola Solutions’ XPR-3300/3500 series radios on a MOTOTRBO network, Pryme Radio Products has developed the BT-M11, which is a Bluetooth adapter that attaches directly to the radio with a patent-pending locking mechanism, George said. Previously, Bluetooth chips were so large that Pryme’s Bluetooth adapter had to be attached with a cable, he said.

“Now that the Bluetooth chips have gotten much smaller, we’re finally able to get it inside the small connector,” George said. “So, we’ve designed a new small connector that will attach directly to the side of the radio and contain the Bluetooth technology.”