Sunday, January 10, 2010


We are not exactly what you might call "early adapters". We usually are behind the curve on picking up new technologies and so it was for bluetooth, the "personal network of devices".

We've had bluetooth capable phones for a few years now but still we weren't walking around looking like Lt Uhura nor were we talking to ourselves while walking down the street like crazy people.

Until the Saturday after Christmas when we went a little bluetooth crazy.

(on a side note: I've always wanted to have a show called "Crazy or Bluetooth" where I film people in Center City and you decide if they are Crazy People or regular people using a Bluetooth headset. It's harder than you think)

I had a received a bluetooth car speaker as a Christmas gift from my wife.Since having a bluetooth speaker in the Aluminum Falcon makes as much sense as power windows on a Pinto, I thought I'd return my speaker and get a nice headset.

I got a considerable amount of push back. Apparently my speaker would operate very nicely in her car and we should just go get bluetooth headsets if that is what we wanted.

Off to the Bestbuy.

We picked out a pair of noise canceling Jabras and were on our way.

On the way back we fiddled with the bluetooth speaker and my Wife showed me how she could listen to Pandora radio on our perfectly good FM radio in the car. I thought for a minute about what was taking place and drew the following diagram (because this is what I do):

  Listening to Pandora in the car

Here we have more technology than men took to the moon so my wife can listen to "Build Me Up Buttercup" for the 3,000,000th time. The absurdity of this never dawned on my Wife since "she can listen to sixties music" this way.

Next we made gratuitous phone calls to people using the new speaker phone, just because we could do so with our hands free as NJ law demands.

"Hi how does this sound"
"Uh, OK, there's a little background noise but it's OK"
"We are using the speaker phone"
"Umm... OK"

When we came home I had to think through an architecture that we could use at home since we suddenly now had seven bluetooth capable things with the new iPhones, my Blackberry from work, the Bluetooth cordless home phones, the new headsets and speakers which could all connect to one another in various ways. I had things bumping other things off bluetooth, things not connected to anything, and of course something stuck in my ear until it hurt.

At one point the the thing in my ear beeped like I was getting a call but the home phones did not. I did not know where the call was coming from but I answered it anyway.

"Is Oldest Son there?"

I recognized the voice as Oldest Sons friend, the one he told me he was with.

"I thought he was with you"

The friend had lost his own phone, used his mother's cell which had my cell as "our number", which he called. My Lt Uhura thing had connected to the cell without my knowledge from the other side of the house. It was all very strange. It was like answering other peoples calls which, ironically, this one was.

Yesterday my Wife wore her LT Uhura thing, which she calls the "Jabber Walker", (which ends up being a strange Star Wars/Star Trek mixed metaphor) around the house while listening to Pandora. I'm still not sure of the value of this over say, a pair of head phones. Which by the way, come with the iPhone and are in stereo.

It's handy, I guess. I'm just not walking around with one 24/7 just yet. My ear hurts.

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