CSR plc announced an initiative which will support the accelerated uptake of Bluetooth based handsfree kits, thus spreading safer and more convenient use of mobile phones by drivers around the world. The CSR RoadRunner Plug-n-Talk is the first in a series of ready engineered and fully-interoperable automotive solutions from CSR that provides OEMs and ODMs with a pre-tested and customisable package from which to create a low-cost Bluetooth handsfree kit. The package also forms a robust foundation on which more integrated and advanced handsfree functionality can be designed into new car models.
"Recent industry estimates suggest that the market for Bluetooth-enabled vehicles is set to grow annually at a rate of more than 25 percent from 2005 to 2010," explained Anthony Murray, VP of CSR's automotive strategic business unit. "This growth is being driven by global consumer adoption of Bluetooth technology and a desire to be able to use their mobile handsets to make productive use of time in the car, without compromising on safety or personal comfort. The Roadrunner reference design will allow OEMs and ODMs to capitalise on this growth and meet the demands of their customers for low-cost Bluetooth handsfree systems in the car."
The introduction of handsfree driving legislation has also encouraged consumers to invest in handsfree solutions. In recent years a number of different options have appeared on the market, ranging from expensive, professionally installed systems and simple, wired earpieces to Bluetooth mono headsets which have experienced rapid consumer adoption. However, a common criticism of the in-car systems, which do not benefit from the mono headset model, which positions the microphone close to the user's mouth, has been the poor audio quality in the automotive cabin environment.
The RoadRunner Plug-n-Talk system features a full hardware reference design, Bluetooth stack, profile suite, handsfree application software and CSR's proprietary Clear Voice Capture (CVC) software. The addition of CVC to the design improves voice quality by combining advanced echo and noise suppression algorithms which allow the speaker's voice to be more clearly extracted and transmitted to the caller at the other end of the line. In addition, it includes a demonstration of text-to-speech software from NowSpeak which has been developed specifically for CSR's BlueCore-Multimedia technology.
The system therefore provides all the elements needed to produce a simple, low-cost plug-and-play Bluetooth handsfree kit. With additional features such as the NowSpeak Mobile text-to-speech software, more complex and superior handsfree functionality can be designed-in with features such as caller ID confirmation and voice prompts during handsfree operation. This means that drivers can completely control their calls without needing to take their hands off the steering wheel, or their eyes off the road. Furthermore, by using the configuration tool supplied, designers can change the Flash parameters and modify elements like the MMI, call handling, PIO assignment to buttons and ring tones. Thus the system allows designers to customise the look, feel and operation of the system without having to change any code or disrupt the pre-established Bluetooth device interoperability.
"With the current global trend towards handsfree driving, we believe that the RoadRunner platform offers after-market designers and car manufacturers alike, the best possible hands-free solution available," added Murray. "They will also be able to get to market much faster with competitive products which have been pre-tested and fully interoperable with other devices. The improved user experience thanks to CVC means there will be even less reason for consumers to be caught driving with a phone to their ears."About CSR
CSR plc is the leading global provider of Bluetooth technology and has developed expertise in other single-chip wireless communication standards such as Wi-Fi (IEEE802.11). CSR offers developed hardware/software solutions for Bluetooth based around BlueCore, a fully integrated 2.4 GHz radio, baseband and microcontroller.
CSR has already launched its fifth generation BlueCore suite and is in volume manufacture of its fourth generation BlueCore devices. BlueCore4 supports the Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) standard which was ratified at the end of 2004. Outside of Bluetooth, CSR has also developed UniFi, the first single-chip 802.11a/b/g embedded solution to specifically target the mobile phone and consumer electronics markets. BlueCore features in over 60 per cent of all qualified Bluetooth enabled products and modules listed on the Bluetooth website with industry leaders including Apple, Dell, IBM, Motorola, NEC, Nokia, Panasonic, RIM, Sharp, Sony and Toshiba using BlueCore devices in their range of Bluetooth products.
CSR has its headquarters and offices in Cambridge, UK, and offices in Japan, Korea, Taiwan, China, India, France, Denmark, Sweden and both Dallas and Detroit in the USA.
More information can be found at www.csr.com.
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Note: The above text is the public part of the press release obtained from the manufacturer (with minor modifications). EETimes Europe cannot be held responsible for the claims and statements made by the manufacturer. The text is intended as a supplement to the new product presentations in EETimes Europe magazine.