I can’t speak for many people, but I have had a pretty solid love affair with Bluetooth headsets. And not all of them, boom mic iterations make me think of my mom’s career with Bell/Verizon. I like those headsets that have pushed the envelope a bit. And maybe that’s why I am one part content towards my Nokia BH-214s. Besides being an unexpected surprise in receiving them with my X6, they tend to fit in just right with almost every matter of need for headphones or a headset.
Now, if I were given the option of redesigning them, I’d love to extend some of the solid decisions done here.
I wouldn’t change the weight, clip, or the fact that you can plug in your own earbuds to them. This is about the base feature of the BH-214s and needs to stay put. I would redesign the front-face buttons. The ability to feel the indents for the icon-buttons is pretty bad if you have biking gloves or sweaty fingers, and throws you off a bit more if you have to clip it and the buttons are flipped. I’d love to see the buttons raised or at least gestures on the rim/button-face to replace volume and power controls.
Futuristic bonus: use multi-function buttons where the FF/RW buttons are and have them all back-lit similar to how the N8 does with it’s AMOLED screen – guessing that eInk would be best here.
Futuristic bonus #2: if there was a screen to replace the buttons or rim of LED lights around the borders that would change its primary color (one color only perhaps) to match whatever is the primary color of your device (the physical hardware) or the theme you are using on your device (software).
Integration with Other Apps/Hardware
I’d go a similar route to this as an accessory as Sony Ericsson did with their LiveView and enable the BH-214 to be able to be utilized by different apps for different features. For example, being able to move to the next voice/text message (as a matter of mention, Symbian’s ability to read your messages to you out of the box is great for driving and biking; can be initiated with a voice command you don’t have to train either).
Ideally, I would love to see an instance of Sports Tracker and/or Wellness Diary installed to the BH-214s and then it would always log to my records with those apps/services, but could also kick off addition actions such as my mobile (via Nokia Bots) asking if I am starting a new workout and being preconfigured to my regiment.
Futuristic Bonus: replace the buttons on the front screen with a resistive and waterproof touchscreen. Then, make the wireless headphones an option such that when accepting a call via the BH-214 that the call automatically goes to loudspeaker.
Power and Environment
Wish that it could not just charge via the 2mm jack, but also microUSB. In time (at least when my N95 bites the dust) I won’t be using or having that charger any more.
Futuristic bonus: trickle charge via solar (replace button face with screen that has a built in solar panel) and/or kinetic movement. In both of see cases, it will make the case for best use of this being outside and exposed so that it can be useful for keeping a bit of juice for when you are cooling down after the workout.
That’s It… And You?
That is really it. And if you can’t tell, I do enjoy these a lot. I should probably use them more when I am driving, but there I usually have my N97 setup so that using the loudspeaker happens easily when a call is accepted.
The way that I think about mobile, wearable computing will be the next fun area of exploring and use. I am starting with my BH-214s and working outward. How about you?
Image via Symbian Dreams