Tag Archives: SDK

Consumer Electronics Show Highlight: Plantronics Plus Innovation, Really? Yes!

As I was walking by the Platronics booth, I noticed a friendly gentleman, and he turned out to me the product manager for the firm, and introduced me to two products.  I have used Platronics headsets over the years at many firms had have been extremely satisfied with the quality of the head sets, from my college days of telemarketing to help pay for college, to the never ending conference calls for meetings.  So I was quite familiar with the VoIP, as well as other explored avenues in this space, and quite honestly, I found very little, that might excite me in this space until I met, Platronics new Voyager Legend UC.  Actually, it was recently released, in October it became Generally Available; however, this CES show was the first time they were showcasing their device. It is an absolute necessity for anyone in the market for a Bluetooth headset.  The features are literally off the charts exciting, that I will have to bullet point them out.

  • The Voyager Legend UC is the first time the company is spreading it’s wings this year in the iOS,and Android application arenas.  They have two fantastic applications, which in my humble opinion, they are not touting enough: one is a Find MyHeadset app, not as exciting, but the other is an InstantMeeting app.  This application will be your assistant, who arranges your phone calls, she is fabulous.  The application reads your calendar for one or multiple numbers, and is capable of conferencing the numbers at the stated time in your Android or iPhone smartphones.
  • In addition to the Android and iPhone applications, this is the amazing part. Platronics has now created an SDK to allow Android and iOS developers to create their own applications, which can be quite numerous.  The internal team is apparently constrained in resources to develop a host of applications they visualize, so they are hoping the development community will take up the challenge, and if you will think about the potential applications, as I go through the power of this headset, you will jump onto your IDEs (Independent Development Environments), and start your venture into these applications.
  • This headset has voice recognition, so it will announce callers, and read off the caller identification, as well as provide battery life notifications.  In addition, I believe the unit is receptive to voice recognition commands.  Now with an API, one application I would LOVE to see in the market place as a project manager, is an application that will take meeting minutes for me, I proof read them, and send them out after the meeting.  Fabulous.  Everyone on a conference call wants a list of action items, you are furiously jotting down notes at the same time facilitating the call, and the two are sometimes challenging to perform.  If a keen app developer takes advantage of the Platronics API for the Voyager Legend UC, they can create variations of this application.
  • The headset fits into a case that actually charges the headset while not in use, and not plugged into any exterior source.  I am done talking and on the road, no need for a car charger for my phone and my headset, I just put the headset back in it’s compact case, and it’s ready to go for our next meeting, plus the headset and case have a magnetic lock, so it holds the headset in place.  Brilliant.
  • This rechargeable battery is amazing, the talk and standby time meets the top criteria in the industry.
  • Finally, it’s  Bluetooth, and may connect to either your phone or through a computer. The computer connectivity will get slightly higher quality, wide band verses narrow, however, Skype and Microsoft’s own solution have custom drivers to enhance the quality of the call with Voice over IP with this headset.

In short, for the business man, or anyone who spends a great deal of time on the phone, this headset is a must have, and for 199 USD, it is a steal.

Platronics Voyager Legend UC
Platronics Voyager Legend UC

Consumer Electronics Show Highlight: Ford SYNC AppLink Developer Program Launch

Today I spoke with a Development System Engineer from the Ford SYNC AppLink Team at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and he was extremely enthusiastic about their launch of their API which enables developers of Android and iOS mobile applications to use the SYNC AppLink SDK APIs so a developer may take advantage of SYNC through your mobile device.  The SYNC AppLink software development kit (SDK) the software engineer admitted that the library was relatively limited to roughly 50 API calls (estimate off the cuff), however, they are constantly looking to expand the SDK.  They are recommending utilizing the Voice Recognition API as an example.

As I explored the conversation with this System Engineer / Developer, I tossed a few ideas, and wanted to see the direction of the team.  I suggested expanding the SYNC technology to link the system to measuring tire air pressure, fuel, oil, and other liquids, as well as ‘by the book’ scheduled maintenance, air filtration quality, and so on.  Then the SYNC AppLink team would expose these functions through the SDK, so that mobile application developers can create applications from dashboards, which sync with the phone through Bluetooth automatically every time the user gets in the car, and has an up to date check of their whole car health and maintenance in or out of the vehicle.   There are endless opportunities, such as mobile notifications on low fuel, maintenance, and even may enter a reminder in a task list named after your car, e.g. need 60 thousand mile maintenance, and oil quality poor, must change oil.

There were some potential limitations such as the display of the SYNC system, the SYNC AppLink Development team try to steer clear from distracting the user by exposing the APIs which may allow the mobile development users to modify the graphical user interface, e.g. flashing menus, which may distract the user, and may cause an accident, which would potentially have liability concerns.  At most, they are looking to allow mobile application developers using the SYNC AppLink SDK to push smartphone pictures to an image frame, so you can see your phone pictures.  However, in my humble opinion, there may be significant opportunities, such as a sexier, and more accurate equalizer controls.  At last, we have the ability for SYNC AppLink SDK developers in the future to access information from your phone, such as calendar, stocks, tasks, and use the car sound system and SYNC microphone to add, hear, delete, and subtract any information from your mobile device.

I walked down the isle to another company, chargepoint, which manufactures charging stations, which are reasonably priced for stations at 5 to 10 thousand USD.  This is a system which is rugged and can endure outdoor conditions.  If we take the SYNC technology and integrate it into a Ford Hybrid & Electric Vehicle to analyze electric usage and be able to maximize your electrical charge.  Chargepoint happens to also have an the ability to have an affinity card.  That is for another post.  There are quite a few stories, and it is still early in the week.  Looking for the diamonds in the rough.

One note, although Ford went after Google Android and iOS first because of market share,  you can be sure, Windows Mobile 8 is not far behind.