The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) today officially announced the winners of its Best of CES Contest, the first such contest hosted by the organization at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2006 last week to highlight the most innovative and consumer-friendly new Bluetooth enabled products. Manufacturers of Bluetooth products competed in seven categories representing consumer-facing industries in which Bluetooth technology is used.
Prior to the show, member companies of the Bluetooth SIG were invited to submit Bluetooth enabled products in the categories of mobile phone, headset, automotive hands-free, stereo audio, printing and imaging, PC environment and unique application. The Bluetooth SIG carefully tested each product and judged them on a variety of criterion, including ease of use, look and feel, implementation and originality. The products were also judged on their Best of Breed status, a program administered by the Bluetooth SIG that explains how classes of devices should implement specific profiles to provide exceptional user experience.
After determining finalists for each category, the devices were displayed at Pepcom's Digital Experience! press event on the eve of CES, as well as in the Bluetooth SIG booth in the Bluetooth Tech Zone at CES. Press and analysts who attended either the Pepcom event or stopped by the booth on Thursday were able to cast the final vote for the winner of each category.
"Our first annual Best of CES contest gave us the opportunity to
highlight some truly excellent Bluetooth products which consumers will find
easy and convenient to use," said Michael Foley, Ph. D., executive director
of the Bluetooth SIG. "As I looked around CES 2006, I saw an amazing array
of Bluetooth products. Companies and consumers alike are embracing the
technology and we look forward to a year of even more exciting product
introductions and technology advancements."
The following products were chosen as winners of each respective category
(finalists indicated in parentheses). The winning products will be included in
an in-studio broadcast tour where the devices will be shown in top markets
across the country. The overall winner, also voted on by press and analysts,
will receive a trip for two people to the Bluetooth SIG All Hands Meeting the
week of March 26 in Seattle, Washington.
- Mobile Phone - Samsung SGH-D600 [finalist: HP iPAQ hw6500 Series
- Headset - Jabra BT500 [finalist: Plantronics Explorer 320]
- Automotive Hands-Free - Parrot 3400 LS-GPS [finalist: Sony
Ericsson Bluetooth Car Hands-free HCB-700]
- Stereo Audio - Bluetake Technology i-PHONO mini Bluetooth Stereo
Headphone [finalist: Plantronics Pulsar 590]
- Printing and Imaging - HP Photosmart 385 [finalist: Sony Ericsson
Bluetooth Media Center MMV-200]
- PC Environment - Logitech diNovo Media Desktop Laser [finalist:
Broadcom BLINK Software]
- Unique Application - Motorola Audex Protective Gear: Helmet and
Padded Hat [finalists: Baracoda RoadRunners Barcode Scanner BRR-L and
SunCorp. Slide Bluetooth Cordless Phone]
- Overall Bluetooth SIG Best of CES Winner - Bluetake i-PHONO mini
Bluetooth Stereo Headphone
The Bluetooth SIG recently announced that shipments of Bluetooth enabled
devices have doubled from May to November 2005 and products are now shipping
at a rate of over 9.5 million per week. The market for Bluetooth wireless
technology will continue to thrive with the adoption of new Bluetooth SIG
programs that will increase interoperability of devices and increase
consumer understanding of expected performance. One of those programs came
to fruition this week as the SIG launched an updated consumer website at
http://www.bluetooth.com/ which includes sections to help consumers learn
about the technology and find out what different devices can do for them.
Cheers ~ Arne