Monday, December 05, 2005

Smart toys to use behind the wheel

The San Francisco Chronicle offers up a holiday tech gift guide for those who spend a lot of time in their car. IDG analyst Ramon Llamas recommended a Bluetooth headset. He said, "When your phone's in your purse or briefcase and it goes off, you don't want to go digging for it. Hit the switch (on the earpiece) and it's on."

Van Baker at Gartner suggested a iPod car adapter so one can take their tunes on the road. He said, "The whole benefit of the iPod is being able to take your music with you wherever you go, and that should certainly include the car." Baker warned that the Fm tuner adapters were easy to set up but not for the true audiophile. He added, "The sound quality is not as good," and pointed out congested airwaves could cause issues.

On the topic of handheld GPS navigation system, Baker said, "That convenience of being able to drop it into whatever car you are driving, that's a big plus," especially for families.

Ross Rubin at NPD did advise to make sure the handheld GPS navigator had the maps and enough storage capacity for your needs. "If you're going to travel a lot, it's worth it to pay a little more for one that has the whole United States on it," Rubin said.