R.J. Siegel hates wires.
In fact, the retired Apple Computer executive, now vice president of operations at LoPresti Speed Merchants, hates wires so much he designed a wireless headset that not only allows you to talk to ATC and over the intercom, but also talk on your cell phone and enjoy music loaded onto your iPod.
Siegel also likes technology that is transparent, which means the headset is extremely simple to use. That’s why the wireless headset is operated with one button. “It’s easier to use than the standard headset,” he says.
The headset, with thick padding that makes it extremely quiet, uses Bluetooth technology. Communications “cascade,” which means that ATC communications, obviously, are most important and interrupt everything else. The intercom interrupts a phone call or music, while a phone call interrupts music.
The headset, which took Siegel about a week to develop, uses a lot of consumer technology that has been “repurposed” for aviation. It’s the same thing Siegel did when he incorporated the iPod into the panel of LoPresti’s new airplane, the Fury. “The iPod has a huge hard drive, which gives us the capacity to record everything in the airplane,” he says. “Rather than develop our own black box, we can use somebody else’s white box.”
The headset, which sells for $499, will be available around Christmas.
What do you ask for? Well, the wireless headset doesn’t have a name yet. “Maybe we should have a contest to name it,” Siegel says with a grin.
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