San Francisco-based start-up Aliph recently went into partnership with Cisco to release a new version of its Jawbone Bluetooth headset, the Jawbone Icon for Cisco. You’ll probably be familiar with the design, as it looks very similar to other Jawbone products. This one’s a little different from standard headsets, though, because it adds in upgradable firmware and the ability to seamlessly switch between mobile phones, Cisco IP desk phones, the soon-to-be-released Cius tablet and softphones, all through the headset. It’s basically a wearable computing device.
Here’s a quick unboxing video showing the headset and its packaging:
I’ve been using it for a few days now, and it works pretty well. It’s nicely designed, very lightweight and the range of fit options provided mean that it’s comfortable to wear. Sound quality is great for both making and receiving calls, even when outside or in a noisy environment.
The main point of this headset is that it wants to be the central part of a unified communications (UC) setup, providing seamless switching between your desk phone, mobile phone and other communications devices, like the Cius tablet, so as you move around you can take and make calls without ever having to reach for a phone; it can pair with up to eight devices.
It’s quite a neat idea, but personally, I just don’t make or receive enough calls to constantly have a headset on. Perhaps I needed a bit more time to get used to it, but I found that when I wasn’t using the Jawbone I would remove it and then forget to take it with me, which kind of renders the whole thing a bit pointless. Still, it’s a nice headset, and if your office is equipped with compatible Cisco IP phones it may be worth checking out.
Jawbone Icon for Cisco is available now. Street price should be around $140, although Cisco customers will likely get it included as part of a package.
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