New Hands-Free Accessories and Cases from Palm

Palm today announced a number of new additions to its line of hands-free accessories, including three car kits and a new combination GPS/hands-free speakerphone solution available for a variety of Palm Treo smartphones. These accessories further Palm's hands-free initiative to provide customers with tools to make their mobile experience simple and safer, especially while driving. Palm has also added a few new Treo cases as well.

Approximately 25 percent of accidents in the United States are caused by driver distraction, which includes cell phones and other handheld devices. Five states, including New York, California and Washington, D.C., are currently enforcing, or intending to in the near future, a ban on the use of cell phones without hands-free features while driving. Six other states, including Michigan, New Mexico and Ohio, have the same law in place for certain jurisdictions.

In August 2006, Palm announced it would support the California bill and believes the bill responsibly addresses evidence that wireless-phone use increases the risk of accidents. As the first handset company to support the California bill, Palm felt that its passage could be instrumental in leading other states to follow suit and improve driving safety.

Treo Car KitAvailable immediately are a number of hands-free, installation car kits for use with a variety of Palm Treo smartphones. These kits offer clear voice performance and such functions as Auto Answer. In states that have hands-free laws, these car kits also meet the legal standards for use while driving, and the professionally installed cradle holds the Treo smartphone securely in place.

-- The Comfort Plus DSP Hands-free Car Kit: An affordable option for Treo 680 and Treo 750 customers, this kit has an estimated U.S. street price of $199.

-- The Take&Talk DSP Cradle + CarTalk Hands-free Car Kit: This kit enables Treo 680 and Treo 750 users to enjoy many functions, including DSP (Digital Signal Processing) technology, which cuts noise and echo for clear voice performance, and an extended antenna for greater network sensitivity. This product has an estimated U.S. street price of $259. This kit requires professional installation.

-- Take&Talk DSP Hands-free Car Kit Cradle: This product is for existing THB Bury UNI System 8 car kit users who are ready to switch over to a Treo 650 or Treo 700 series smartphone. This product has an estimated U.S. street price of $149.

"Palm is committed to accessorizing Treo smartphones with technologies that promote a hands-free and safer lifestyle," said Jim Schwabe, senior director for handhelds and accessories at Palm. "Palm creates its accessories so that they are both functional and fashionable, appealing to Treo users around the world."

Palm also announced the GPS Navigator Car Kit, which includes an integrated GPS and a hands-free speakerphone. Treo 680 and Treo 700p smartphone customers can get voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions, or keep in touch with friends and family, all the while keeping their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel. With this simple-to-use device, users just pop in a 1GB memory card preinstalled with a map of the continental United States and Canada to launch TomTom NAVIGATOR. The estimated U.S. street price is $299.

Palm's online store also has a few new cases to dress up and protect Treo smartphones:

-- Treo Air Case and Holster - Compatible with Treo 680 and Treo 750 smartphones, this case is strong yet lightweight, and practically invisible. It is made of durable polycarbonate and is sleek, smooth and strong. It can be used alone to protect the Treo smartphone or with the holster for easy access. This product has an estimated U.S. street price of $25.

Vaja Treo Classic Case-- Vaja Classic Pouch - Compatible with Treo 680 and Treo 750 smartphones, these stylish cases come in a variety of colors, have magnetic snap closure and slots for SD and Mini SD cards. The Vaja cases are made of full-grain Argentine leather. Pricing starts at $65.

-- eNOVO by EB - This top-loading case was crafted especially to hug the contours of the Treo 680 and Treo 750 smartphones to provide sleek, semi-rigid protection. It is made from supersoft, fine-grain leather, and the removable cover and belt-clip system give customers multiple options for use.

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Oh Boy!

PacManFoo @ 3/26/2007 10:02:33 PM # Q
I have to get me one of those new Palm Cases! Oh. What? None for the TX? Nevermind. A little velcro and super glue and my old case will be as good as new I guess.

PDA's Past and Present:
Palm - IIIxe, Vx, M500, M505, Tungsten T, TX
Handspring - Edge, Platinum, Deluxe
Sony - SJ22
Apple - MP2000, MP2100
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joad @ 3/26/2007 11:27:57 PM # Q
There's a nifty "new" technology out that allows you to use your phone without wires called "bluetooth." Maybe someday Palm can figure out how to implement it in a functional way on the Treo models. It beats paying about $300 for all this heavy-duty wiring and drilling into the dashboard.

At at the price of these things, it's apparent why Palm was supporting the bill.... and altruism isn't what's coming to mind.

Still, if the bill's passing actually gets a few of the cell-yapping SUV or Minivan drivers to drive their vehicles of mass destruction with *both* hands occasionally that's probably a good thing...

RE: idea!
SeldomVisitor @ 3/27/2007 6:42:45 AM # Q
Sort of an aside, but you DID mention it so a target for a comment, is that studies have shown it is the talking, not the hands-on use, that makes cellphone use during driving a dangerous thing.


Here's a summary from another study:

== "...increased risk was similar for males and females, younger and older
== drivers, and hands-free and hand-held phones. A number of jurisdictions
== in the United States and around the world have made it illegal for drivers
== to use hand-held phones. Studies of these laws show only limited compliance
== and unclear effects on safety.CONCLUSIONS: Even if total compliance with
== bans on drivers' hand-held cell phone use can be achieved, crash risk will
== remain to the extent that drivers continue to use or switch to hands-free
== phones..."


RE: idea!
a_nonamiss @ 3/27/2007 9:24:49 AM # Q
Hear hear! I second this notion. I think that we should ban conversation altogether in cars. There should be a sound-proof divider between the passenger and the driver so that he or she is not distracted by meaningless conversation. No radios, no conversation, nothing. Just driving. Then we'll all be safe.

OK, seriously, I'm completely against the mother of 6 kids in the minivan talking on the cell phone, yelling at her kids putting on makeup and eating a donut while trying to drive, but there has to be a logical end to all of this. I know my personal abilities, and I can talk on a hands-free phone with absolutely no effect on my driving. I do this all the time. It's just like having a conversation with someone in the next seat. Now, I'm sure this isn't true for all people, but I think the bottom line is to know your own abilities, and to not be stupid. If you can't talk on the phone while driving, don't.


Palm Pilot 1000 > Palm Pilot Professional > Palm III > Palm M100 > Sony Clié PEG-T415 > Palm T|T3 > Samsung SCH-i730 > Palm 700p

RE: idea!
SeldomVisitor @ 3/27/2007 10:03:29 AM # Q
> ...I know my personal abilities, and I can talk on a hands-free
> phone with absolutely no effect on my driving...

One of the studies addresses just this:


That is to say, you're overly optimistic about your own driving and talking ability...


RE: idea!
cervezas @ 3/27/2007 3:13:53 PM # Q
There are also studies that show that the use of safety equipment such as seatbelts and airbags creates an impression of safety that causes people to be slightly less careful in their driving--enough to offset some or all of the protective benefit of the equipment in many cases. I had an economics professor in college that suggested (half jokingly) a better way to reduce accident related fatalities: mandate that car manufacturers install a long, sharp metal spike to the steering column that points right at the drivers' chest. Just a guess, but I'll bet that would probably cause people to more realistically assess the risk of talking on their mobile while driving, too. ;-)

David Beers
Pikesoft Mobile Computing
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