Plantronics celebrated its 50th anniversary by adding spunk to unified calling by launching its Voyager Pro UC Bluetooth headset just days after Jawbone released its first motion-controlled Bluetooth headset ERA.
The launch was punctuated by the presence of Dr. Buzz Aldrin who donned a Plantronics headset as part of the Apollo mission, the first moonwalk nearly 42 years ago.
The Voyager Pro UC headset fetures Smart Sensor technology that enables users to answer calls by simply placing the device on the ear thus eliminating the need of buttons or a tap. The headset is capable of gauging when a user is wearing a headset and then automatically routes the call. The headset is also able to ascertain when the device is not been placed on an ear and then intuitively routes the call to the mobile phone speaker.
Voyager Pro UC also automatically locks the call button when the headset is not worn, thus, eliminating accidental calls. It also offers a Bluetooth USB adapter that can be used with a PC or laptop. The hearing-gear's functions are also well integrated with VoIP tools like Skype and Microsoft Lync. Once the headset is worn, it automatically reports that the user is available for voice chat over Skype.
Voyager Pro UC offers up to 6 hours talk time and 5 days in standby which is higher than Jawbone ERA's 5.5 hours talk time though it offers 10 days in standby. Also, ERA is smaller at 2.02 inches and lighter weighing 10.2 grams compared to Voyager UC which weighs 17.5 grams. The Jawbone ERA has a transmit range of 33 feet while the Voyager PRO UC has a recorded range of 30 feet.
The Jawbone ERA, however, requires a user to tap the headset to answer or end a phone call. Jawbone ERA also provides a battery meter which is automatically displayed on an iPhone and BlackBerry. Both Voyager UC and Jawbone ERA headsets come with Wind Noise Reduction feature. The greatest difference is in price, with Jawbone ERA costing $129 while the Voyager Pro UC costs much higher at $200, the price at which a 16 GB iPhone 4 is available.
Plantronics also launched Calisto 800 Series, its first speakerphones in Plantronics' unified communications product portfolio. The device combines multi-device hands-free connectivity with intuitive visual call management. It has been optimized for use with Microsoft® Office Communicator and LyncTM.