RIM previews Bluetooth-enabled Blackberry accessory for your car

I just returned from a tour of Research In Motion’s (RIM) BlackBerry booth at CES 2009, and though there were lots of noteworthy devices, applications and services on display-stay tuned to the Mobile WorkHorse blog for more details–one product in particular caught my eye: The as-of-yet unreleased “Blackberry Bluetooth Visor Mount.”

RIM BlackBerry Bluetooth Visor Mount

There aren’t too many details available on the new RIM offering, which clips onto your vehicle’s visor-in fact, it doesn’t even have an official name yet, hence the quotations in the last paragraph. But it’s expected to become available during the first of half 2009, according to Tenille Kennedy, the RIM PR representative who conducted my booth tour. (Thanks again Tenille!)

The BlackBerry Bluetooth Visor Mount is similar to existing in-car Bluetooth speaker phones, but it also lets you stream music from your BlackBerry device to a vehicle’s stereo system via an FM frequency.

RIM BlackBerry Bluetooth Visor Mount from the Side

With more and more U.S. states passing mobile-phone-driving restrictions, it’s a smart move on RIM’s part to attempt to capitalize on the new legislation with BlackBerry branded products like the upcoming Bluetooth Visor.

It could also be a great alternative to awkward and sometimes ugly Bluetooth headsets-though audio quality will be an important deciding factor in whether or not users embrace it.

I’ve used a number of in-vehicle speaker phones and never really liked any of them due to the poor call quality they offered-at least the ones that aren’t built-in, like in some new Lexus vehicles.

The product is also timely, as Apple’s recent decision to drop its FairPlay DRM from iTunes music will undoubtedly lead to more and more users employing BlackBerrys and other non-Apple devices to listen to their digital music collections.

This article was first published in CIO.com

 

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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