Plantronics is spruiking its latest Bluetooth headset to the average consumer with a cloud-based, voice-activated content and control service to reinvigorate the market outside of the corporate user.The new Savor M1100, launched today, comes stocked with a subscription cloud-based voice service called Vocalyst, that essentially dials a landline (rather than going through data connection) which is hooked into the cloud to deliver audio streaming, text-to-speech, news feeds and emails.
Plantronics is hoping to “reinvigorate the category of headsets for people who don’t normally use them” with the addition of the Vocalyst service, according to its national retail sales manager, Peter Petrides.
Petrides said that sales data has shown an 18 per cent decline in speakerphone sales, while Bluetooth headsets grew 13 per cent year on year. The statistics weren’t exact quotes, but he pointed to retailers stocking more headsets than speakerphone units on the typical store shelf.
Vocalyst is a Dial2Do service that has been in the works for three years with Plantronics, and works by dialling its 03 number on your phone (which you can do through voice via Bluetooth headset), costing whatever the normal service provider call charges are.
From here, users can navigate an audible menu of commands which can send texts via voice-to-text, answer calls, check up on the news or the weather and update Facebook, all configurable online through the Plantronics site to make it a simple plug-and-play device for the average consumer (minus the plug).
While it’s thrown this service in to make buying a Savor M1100 more appealing for those who generally don’t think they need one, the same service can essentially be used on another Bluetooth headset of any brand since it’s simply a phone number to access once you’ve got the subscription.
More on the Savor M1100 over the page.
Onto the product, the Savor M1100 is a Bluetooth headset that has just hit Australian shores after their appearance in the US half a year ago. According to Plantronics, the services to go with the headset weren’t yet localised for Australia and “the market wasn’t ready for it anyway,” said Petrides.
Now that it’s here, the nine gram headset (which will drop down to seven come September) with its V-frame design sports three microphones for enhanced noise cancellation. It only needs two to function well, though a third kicks in only in really loud surroundings so as to not butcher battery life.
Higher-end models like the Voyager only have two microphones, though the noise cancellation engine in these more expensive units are better quality.
The Savor M1100 is out now for a suggested retail price of $129, stocked through Telstra and other similar stockists. The Vocalyst service comes free for a year, though the Plantronics retail sales manager said the company is planning on stretching this to two years. Otherwise, the subscription for the basic Vocalyst service sells for US$24.99, or US$35 for the Pro version.
We’ll be reviewing the Savor M1100 and the Vocalyst service soon, so keep an eye out.