Tag Archives: BlueTooth

High-tech gadgets can truly astound

Touchscreen smartphone with Earth globe

I’ve just treated myself to one of the joys of high-tech gadgetry.

It took me years to purchase a cell phone. I declared my intention to be the last man on Earth to own one of them; I declared victory in that pursuit some years ago and bought one.

A couple of years ago, my wife and I — at the relentless insistence of one of our sons — upgraded our phones. We now have “smart phones” that enable us to do a lot of things. We navigate with them; we play games on them; we receive instant communication on them; we are able to receive text message and text in return.

Frankly, I use only a tiny fraction of the apps available on this fancy gadget of mine.

But here’s the thing that knocks me out: We have this device in our Prius called a Bluetooth that pipes these text messages through our radio speaker; we also have one in our big ol’ Dodge pickup.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Bluetooth has been around for some time. Just indulge me for a moment.

My wife and I were driving our Prius. My smart phone chirped at me. I’d gotten a text message from a young man with whom I work. The voice then came through the speaker and said, “Read it or ignore.” I replied “read.” The voice told me what the text message said. The voice then said “reply, ignore or hang up.” I said “reply.” I then offered my young friend a one-word response to the question he had posed in the text message.

Then I instructed the voice to hang up.

I did all this while driving our little hybrid vehicle. I never touched my phone. I didn’t fumble-finger my way through the keypad trying to send a text message while driving — not that I’d ever do it anyway, you know?

Believe me, I try like the dickens to be a 21st-century American. I’m getting there little by little.

Are you impressed?

Me, too.

Talking and driving is actually a gas

I’ll admit that I’m not as technologically advanced as many Americans.

That is why this notion of Bluetooth technology in automobiles is so fascinating to me.

I took a phone call the other day from my son, who called my cellphone number. I was walking across the parking lot at work. We chatted as I walked toward my car. I got into my vehicle and started it.

Immediately, the phone switched over to the radio speaker and I was able to drive off the parking lot while continuing my conversation with my son.

It knocked me out!

I told him so. He laughed and said something like, “Well? What did you expect?”

He equated my fascination with this technology — which I admittedly resisted getting for many years after it became available — to someone born in the 19th century awakening in the 21st century and finding streets buzzing with automobiles.

Maybe that’s an accurate metaphor.

What I do know is that I am still struggling with the guilt of talking on the phone while driving my car. I know city ordinances do not prohibit me from doing so. Amarillo has this law on the books that says it’s illegal to use a handheld device while driving a motor vehicle. I am grateful the City Commission enacted the law — even though I have yet to actually witness a police officer pulling someone over for breaking that rule.

I am guessing my guilt will dissipate with time. Won’t it?