Parrot Conference: Team talking in the 21st century

The French company Parrot Technologies is one of the foremost manufactures of Bluetooth-related accessories today. At CTIA, they launched a number of new products, including Parrot Conference, a hands-free teleconferencing system designed to work with mobile phones connected to it via Bluetooth.

When I first saw the Parrot Conference concept, it took a while for me to wrap my head around it. I couldn't figure out why someone would need or want to use something like it-either use the cell phone's built in speaker, or, if available, a fixed landline. After using it for a bit, however, my view has changed. The underlying premise behind the Conference is the ability to conduct team calls on the go. Personally, I think it makes a great speakerphone. The unit's many features include phonebook syncing, multiple device support, firmware updating, Skype integration, and more. I did not like the menu systems, and there were some compatibility issues with Windows Mobile phones, mainly regarding the auto phone sync and network ID. In addition, there was some fading of the microphones occasionally.

Parrot Conference is priced at $299.95 and is available online directly from Parrot ( Other big box retailers may carry the unit in the near future as well. There is also a Phonelink attachment that allows regular landlines to be connected. I could not obtain a release date or pricing on the PhoneLink.


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