6 November 2015

Plantronics takes design very seriously

The words sent back in 1969 from the moon came via Plantronics equipment, and the company has not stopped its commitment to innovation ever since. The company is working on devices that deliver contextual intelligence, a combination of hardware, sensors, and software, said Alvin Kiew, Director of Sales & Marketing for Plantronics South-East Asia.

Examples of such contextual intelligence include knowing that a headset has been taken off, and routing an active call to the phone, or pausing the music that is playing, Kiew said.

Plantronics found that its customers can be divided into different categories with different needs at work. 
The customer profiles are very detailed, and headsets are designed to address the challenges experienced by different customer profiles.

Plantronics is also focused on understanding their customers in order to give them what they want. Some of the headset features that cater to always-connected professionals include long battery lives of up to 18 hours a day, battery life indicators, and compatibility with inflight entertainment systems.

When it comes to gamers, customisability is key, said Kiew. Plantronics' RIG corded headsets for gaming are modular and can be modified for ordinary use. In line with the company's contextual intelligence stance, RIG 500 headsets will automatically mute the mike the moment it is lifted.

Christopher Thompson, VP of Enterprise Marketing, Plantronics, said the Voyager Focus UC family is about helping business users to focus, hence the name. The company found that changes in workstyle have changed the work environment significantly, requiring different tools to create a professional experience. "Work is something you do, it's not a place you go," he said.

For 20-somethings just beginning their careers, high quality audio and device compatibility are important, Thompson noted. "We wanted to give them a tool that works with other things that they have... and addresses the activity of the environment that they live in," he said.

Plantronics Voyager Focus UC headsets provide a different experience from standard earbuds bundled with phones, for example. While earbuds typically transmit ambient sounds in the environment, making a conference call noisy for others, Plantronics Voyager Focus UC headsets are designed with three types of noise cancellation technology, Thompson said: passive noise cancellation, which damps down sudden noises; active cancellation, where mikes placed at the outside of the headset capture and then block outside noise, and a noise-cancelling mike that prevents the transmission of the conversation beyond the headset.

Thompson pointing out that today's work environment has evolved from quiet office cubicles to noisier environments. 

The headstrap, below the usual headband, brings the cushions of the earcups closer to the ear for a better audio experience, with more effective noise cancellation. At the same time, weight is redistributed from the head to the head and the earcups. Thompson said that customer feedback has been that headsets with headstraps feel lighter as a result.

Contextual intelligence features for the Voyager Focus UC include no dedicated 'left' and 'right' controls. No matter which way the wearer has put the headset on, features will work the way he or she expects. Turning the mike 'down' or the volume control 'forward' will always have the same effect, Thompson said.

Read the WorkSmart Asia blog post on the Plantronics Voyager Focus UC headsets

posted from Bloggeroid