For the most part, a Bluetooth headset is a Bluetooth headset. However, a new Bluetooth headset from Plantronics goes a step beyond the norm and integrates closely with unified communications technologies to help you communicate more efficiently.
Admittedly, I have not been a huge fan of Bluetooth headsets. Hipsters walking around talking to themselves with little gadgets sticking out of their ear always seems a bit pretentious...and a bit Borg. To be fair, part of my lack of interest stems from the fact that my ears just don't seem suited to these earpieces--even with swappable rubber inserts of different sizes. They are uncomfortable.
Having gotten my Bluetooth headset bias out of the way up front, though, let's talk more about this Plantronics Voyager PRO UC Bluetooth headset. While Bluetooth headsets are not a passion of mine, UC is. I am a big fan of unified communications; so much so that I wrote the book--or at least a book--on the subject.
The Plantronics press release for the Voyager PRO UC Headset quotes Bob Hafner, managing vice president of Mobile and Client Computing, Gartner. "Just as the introduction of e-mail revolutionized enterprise communication 40 years ago, unified communications is revolutionizing communications and collaboration today and unifying the PC, mobile phone, and desk phone. Today, no one would be expected to work for a company without email and seven to ten years from now business professionals won't want to work for a company without unified communications."
The Plantronics Voyager PRO UC headset has capacitive sensors that detect when the device is placed in your ear. Using that detection, the Bluetooth headset is capable of auto answer, and auto pause for streaming media. It also has an auto call button lock feature to prevent accidental dialing when the headset is not in your ear, and smart call transfer to intelligently reroute calls directly to the phone to ensure you don't miss calls while fumbling for the earpiece in your pocket.
The Bluetooth headset also comes with a USB dongle to connect and interact with your PC. It integrates with Skype or Microsoft Lync (formerly OCS) to automatically update your presence status when you're on a call, and it provides the ability to instantly switch an instant messaging session to a voice call by simply placing the headset in your ear.
I don't know if it's enough to make me love Bluetooth headsets, but the features of the Plantronics Voyager PRO UC headset at least raise the bar and provide some additional functionality that make it a compelling choice for more efficient hands-free communication.