BlueAnt today announced the July 2nd Canadian availability of the S4, the first true hands-free voice controlled Bluetooth car speakerphone.
With the S4, all you have to do is say the hands-free trigger phrase “BlueAnt Speak To Me” and the S4 will be ready for your voice commands. Then say the command to activate your phone's voice dialing feature and you can make a call just by saying the person's name (“Call Mom…”) if your phone supports name dialing. When the phone rings, you will know who is calling without looking at your phone because the S4 will read out the caller's name and ask you if you want to answer: all you have to do is say “answer” or “ignore”. The S4 accomplishes this with text to speech (TTS) technology and by transferring and storing up to 2,000 phonebook entries from each paired mobile phone. Voice commands can also be used to control other features and functionality, such as checking the battery level, adjusting the voice recognition sensitivity, finding out if your phone is connected, entering pairing mode, turning off the LED light, as well as controlling calls and phone functions.
To reduce distracted driving, BlueAnt and Vlingo have partnered to provide drivers a safer, easier way to receive SMS messages and email by including the SafeReader application on the S4 for use with BlackBerry® smartphones and Android 2.0+ devices. Users can simply press one button on the phone and say “Start SafeReader” and the feature is activated so all incoming messages will be delivered audibly through the S4.
The BlueAnt S4 acts as a hands-free gateway to the world, providing access to stock quotes, movie times, weather, sports, news and traffic updates just by saying the words. For example, BlueAnt user “Bill” has a lengthy commute to work every morning and likes to check his stock market performance during the drive. Without taking his hands off the wheel, Bill can call through to Bing 411 and find out if he is up or down. After the S4 has read aloud his stock performance and the call has finished, Bill can say, “BlueAnt: Speak To Me,” then “Phone Commands,” then “Call Jim Smith” to place a call to his broker and make quick adjustments to his portfolio. Time is money and the BlueAnt S4 enables Bill to optimize his time.
Using A2DP, S4 users can also take advantage of navigation software on their mobile phones and listen to turn-by-turn directions over the speakerphone. An example of a user taking advantage of A2DP is “Anne” who has a hot date at a new restaurant across town. Anne does not know this area so she plugs the address details into the GPS application on her mobile phone. While en route, she uses her S4's A2DP feature, which is on by default, to enable audio streaming of the GPS navigation details through her car speakerphone. With turn-by-turn directions announced along the way, Anne meets her date with plenty of time to spare.
To enhance the customer experience, BlueAnt is continually improving the software on its devices and an Android application is now available allowing S4 users to hear incoming text messages read aloud automatically. The application also provides help with pairing the devices, support tips, and a direct link to the BlueAnt Customer Service team. The Android application and other feature enhancements are made available for download on the BlueAnt website free of charge. Users can update their own devices by following a simple update process that takes a matter of minutes.
“The S4 will enable drivers, for the first time, to communicate and access information without needing to touch their phone or car speakerphone at all,” said Taisen Maddern, Executive Chairman of BlueAnt Wireless.
The S4 at the MSRP of $119.99 and will be available starting July 2 at Best Buy, Future Shop, The Source, Rogers, Bell, Telus and TBooth and Wireless Wave.