Beam Me In

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May 2, 2008

July 1 isn’t that far away. When California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation about a year and a half ago forbidding cellphone use without a headset while driving in the state, it seemed far enough into the future to not think about. Not that I make a habit of talking on the cell when I’m operating my motor vehicle, but it’s helpful when I’m running late to let someone know I’ll be there … eventually. And more than once when I’ve been stuck in traffic on my commute, I figure, why not give Mom a call?

I realize that keeping both hands on the steering wheel at all times is probably the safest way to drive. But I’ve avoided headsets as long as using them was voluntary. Most gadgets are just encumbrances to me. And I hate stuff in my ears.

But now it’s down to the wire. The cut-off date for having cellphone in hand while behind the wheel is rapidly approaching, and there’s no grace period (believe me, I checked). So, the fact there’s now a solar-powered Bluetooth on the market caught my attention. Anything to get me excited about the prospect of committing to a headset.

The Iqua BHS-603 SUN has the courtesy of charging itself. At $100, it’s not cheap, but it’s also not the priciest Bluetooth-enabled headset either. And it is eco, isn’t it?

Sorta, my husband, Dave, said. (I consult with him on all things technological; he’s the kind of guy who assembles his own homemade electrical switches.) “It doesn’t take much power to charge or use a headset,” Dave told me. “But every bit of power we get from the sun rather than from fossil fuel is an environmental bonus.” Continuing to look on the sunny side, he added that it’s a good sign if this product is part of a trend making solar-powered technology more available.

So much for scoring the first solar-powered Bluetooth headset as an impulse buy. But I haven’t given up on it either. I’ve got a few weeks yet to decide.