New Plantronics Savi Headsets Aim to Unify Communications

By March 14, 2009

Plantronics launched a series of headsets on Wednesday called Savi, aimed at unifying communications buy-in. They are designed to blend PC and traditional land line usage while improving audio quality for such applications as Skype. The headsets come with standard bases and customized headsets, providing one outlet for desk, soft and mobile phones. Consumers who previously had to juggle between VOIP, computer and office phone headsets will greatly appreciate this common-sense approach. Savi Office, which handles calls from various sources, will be able to hold a connection to 350 feet with a frequency that does not interfere with Wi-Fi or other signals. Savi Go connects to PC and mobile calls with Class 1 Bluetooth to 200 feet. Both of these headsets will be available in April.

The software that manages these connections is called the PerSono Suite. It manages calls and audio with a one-click interface that routes the connection between hardware. ZDNet calls the application a "traffic cop" for calls. The decision to get into software for the first time was part of a strategy to add value and provide better firmware upgrade capability.

Beau Wilson, Plantronics global product manager for the company’s B2B products notes that the headset-traffic-cop model will only be necessary for the next five years or so. By then, this unification will be standardized. Until then, PerSono can help users keep their peripheral numbers down.

The development towards unified communications is suffering from what ZDNet refers to as a "last ten feet problem," and is one that Plantronics hopes to solve by offering a simple solution to the desk clutter of being connected. Conferences and committees are formed in the hopes of bundling instant message, Web conference, video presence, collaboration and email services to enhance productivity and provide secure communications. Easy solutions such as the Savi headsets may offer the usability that is lacking in such innovation strategies.

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