'Ultimate' hands-free for SA?

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 LATEST IN IN-CAR TECH FROM ISRAEL: The Voyager system claims to be "the ultimate" in hands-free and satnav. Take a look at its benefits. ~ Supplied
ROSH HA'AYIN, Israel - Israeli communications operator Partner Communications and Accel Telecom, a leading connected-car innovation company, have announced what they call “the ultimate Connected-Car Smartphone”.

It's expected to be released in South Africa in March 2014. Pity it couldn't have become a handy Christmas toy and aid for your annual year-end holiday trip. Also, as anybody knows, calling something “the ultimate” just asks for it to be knocked off its  perch, but anyway...

Partner says Voyager “is expected to revolutionise the car communications culture and transform it into a more efficient, safer and enjoyable driving experience”.

Its developers say it can easily be installed in any car and uses an existing phone number and a twin-SIM. The device will be launched by Partner in Israel priced at 1900 Shekels – about $550 or R5500.

“The new product combines Android Smartphone technology with an HSUPA Qualcomm module,” Partner adds, “to deliver a driver-centric device that ensures safer calling, easy navigation through a dedicated Waze (https://www.waze.com/) launcher key and multiple car-focused applications.”

The system has been designed to allow hands-free dialling; its keyboard has real (large!) keys, the screen claims to be crystal-clear and the audio echo-free. It also creates a 3G wireless hotspot in your car.

Naama Gat, Partners marketing boss, reports: "From research that Partner conducted, the average available call time from cars during weekdays is three hours for users to be connected to work, friends, family and various media.

“Partner is the first in Israel to provide this important 3G connectivity."

Shmulik Keret, Waze VP, added: "Voyager will provide drivers with a superb Waze navigation experience. We are excited to partner on this innovative connected car device."

Marc Seelenfreund, Accel’s CEO, said: "We are excited to launch Voyager at Partner and expect strong demand for this new generation ‘Connected Car Smartphone’ device not only in Israel but also internationally."

Key features
HD Voice echo free sound quality
Android UI
HSUPA Qualcomm based device
In-car 3G-WiFi Hotspot connectivity
Integration with Google and Exchange
High level noise reduction and echo cancelation
Voice activation
Driver centric design to ensure safe driving
Dedicated hard keys for safe intuitive operation
Car centric applications for advanced communication
Dedicated Waze launcher key for easy navigation