Man I find the thought of this device disturbing. To think that a pilot trusts their safety and the safety of those on the ground to a Bluetooth headset just seems wrong given the common call drops and different issues I have seen on some Bluetooth headsets.
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Yet a company called LoPresti has developed a Bluetooth headset for pilots that use software they call Intuition to prioritize incoming signals on four frequencies allowing a pilot to listen to all important radio communications from ground controllers, cell phones, iPod, and the intercom.
Intuition mutes all other functions when there is activity on the planes radio. “We hoped for a good response” said Rj Siegel VP of Operations and designer of the technology, “but we never expected to be deluged with so many orders.” “LoPresti has a history of bringing new technology to aviation, but in the past, the adoption curve has been measured in years“. “We introduced low drag cowls and wheelpants, hi-lift wingtips, HID lighting, ambient temperature glass coatings and now Bluetooth technology”, but this is the first product we’ve seen that requires no explanation and has generated an instant demand.” “We are currently looking to partner with existing headset manufacturers.” “We expect to make the first deliveries in time for Christmas.”
“Almost all the technologies I have worked on at Apple and elsewhere, were solutions for problems that plagued me personally” “I hate wires”. Siegel said. “I hate them in computers and I especially hate them in the cockpit”.
“The headset is not only wireless, but by using Bluetooth technology we’ve designed a system that cascades four frequencies transparently”. “Most of our customers already know we have an iPod interface in the Fury. The iPod serves dual functions as an entertainment system as well as a data recorder.” “Now we’ve further integrated our wireless headset into the system. “It simply made sense to design a smart system, so we did” said Siegel.
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The Bluetooth range is 30 feet and the headphones are powered by a 3v lithium ion battery that gives 8-10 hours on a charge. Charging is done via a standard USB cell phone charger. Once the highest priority signal is complete the headphones switch back to the other channels automatically. The wireless module connects to aircraft RCA jacks. My first thought was what if you forget to charge the thing, which I am apt to do. Using RCA wires the headphones can be transformed into wired use. Via LoPresti press release.