Picture this: You're driving down the highway, going the speed limit, your seatbelt is buckled up and you haven't illegally changed lanes -- yet there is a police car behind you, sirens blaring, beckoning you to pull over. What could be wrong? The cell phone in your hand -- and against your ear -- could be the culprit.
Bluetooth is a convenient way to get you out of that ticket. Bluetooth is a wireless technology that connects devices together, but without that pesky wire in between the two to get in the way. Bluetooth comes built into products consumers use every day -- like cell phones, headsets, PDAs, laptops, and yes, even cars -- and allows devices that have Bluetooth built-in to "talk" to each other without a wire connection.
One way Bluetooth can be used in the car is by connecting the actual car to the driver's -- or passenger's -- Bluetooth enabled cell phone. Just as easy as using the headset with Bluetooth and the phone, this scenario gives the user even more flexibility and freedom: when the car with Bluetooth senses the Bluetooth enabled cell phone in the car, the car's audio system and dash installed controls take over the function of the phone. Calls are made and retrieved using voice recognition, and the user never has to even touch the actual phone.
As the number of auto accidents related to cell phone use continues to climb, many states and even city municipalities are looking closely at legislation designed to keep drivers' hands where they belong -- on the wheel. While New York is currently the only state to have a hands-free cell phone law on the books, California, Massachusetts, and 20 other states will bring the topic up for discussion this fall.
Car manufacturer's like DaimlerChrysler are making Bluetooth available in vehicles coming off the line this fall -- dealer-installed solutions are available now. And if you don't have a Dodge, Jeep, or Chrysler, you're still in luck as there are several after-market car kits for sale from makers like Sony Ericsson, Nokia, and Motorola.
Of course, the key of getting any device to "talk" to another is that they both have to be speaking the same language -- so if you get Bluetooth in your car, you'll want to make sure you have Bluetooth in your cell phone too. Right now, AT&T and T-Mobile both have phones with Bluetooth available for customers, and by the end of the summer, the rest of the major carriers in the US -- Nextel, Sprint, Verizon and Cingular -- are expected to follow suit.
So the next time you're driving along with the phone glued to your ear or you're DWD (driving while dialing), think about Bluetooth -- it can make your life safer, easier, and oh yeah -- ticket free.