Snowboarders to Get Wireless Winter Wear

Embarking on a long term wireless integration collaboration, Burton Snowboards and Motorola Inc. recently revealed plans to launch a collection of Bluetooth-enabled winter gear for snowboarding tech types who want to stay connected.

Burton and Motorola have been and will continue to work together to explore the possibility of integrating Bluetooth wireless technology into snowboard apparel, enabling users to control their music and mobile phones while on the slopes, the companies said.

The end result is a series of three technologically advanced Burton Audex Snowboard Jackets with wireless connectivity that give consumers access to their cell phone and iPod (or both at once) without having to handle the devices in any way.

"When you talk about Bluetooth headsets, the typical person uses them on-the-go, whether in the airport, walking down the street, or wherever else," Scott Martin, global marketing director of Motorola's accessories business, told Ziff Davis Internet.

"However, there are also huge segments of the population where technology isn't so relevant to their lives, so we want to take technology out to their world. Partners like Burton allow us to take Bluetooth to entirely new spaces."

The Bluetooth-enabled jackets, with phone and iPod zipper pockets, utilize embedded Audex technology.

The Audex system operates via a removable module (with large buttons and tactile feedback (search) for easy access), which gives consumers one-touch control for their mobile devices, according to a company representative.

Each device connects in various ways; Users can access their mobile phone through Motorola's Bluetooth wireless link, while a hidden wired iPod connection links the MP3 player and detachable hood stereo speakers to Audex's next-gen outerwear.

Burton's series of Audex Jacket boasts a number of additional features, including a microphone embedded in the collar.

The jacket sleeves feature a mini caller ID for screening purposes, as well as a control panel that lets the user take or make phone calls and manage music on their iPod.

"While Burton is a lifestyle brand, we're the technology partner," Martin said. "We're applying our technology and Bluetooth expertise to create what we've coined 'wearable wireless.'"

All three coats are compatible with Generation 3 or newer iPods (with the exception of the Shuffle) and any brand of Bluetooth 1.1 or 1.2-enabled phones that support hands-free or headset profiles.

The jackets, slated to hit shelves in December, will be available in three styles.

Burton's Audex Cargo Jacket is offered in True Black, Mocha or Blue Frost, while the Down Jacket comes in New Brick, Granite or True Black.

Burton will also put out an Audex Duffel Jacket for women, in True Black, Khaki13 or Mocha Plaid.

All three styles retail for $599.95, and will be available for purchase through the Burton Web site.

Burton has also unveiled plans to roll out wireless winter accessories through a Motorola collaboration with its R.E.D. Impact Protection company, which makes Burton-brand helmets, the company said.

A joint venture between R.E.D. and Motorola has resulted in wearable wireless technology by way of their Tantrum Audex helmet and Ordinance Audex padded hat.

Both products feature a Bluetooth wireless connection to compatible stereo devices and mobile phone.

The hat and helmet are each compatible with any iPod, MD, CD or tape player.

In terms of wireless connectivity, the head gear connects with any devices that support Bluetooth Stereo Music profiles A2DP and AVRCP.

An integrated headset can also be removed and used on its own, giving users access to a 30-foot range of Bluetooth Class 2 wireless connection.

In addition, users can access their iTunes and such through DJ-style headphones or built-in speakers, according to a Burton representative.

"This wearable technology space is going to become an emerging trend," Martin said. "As we look at different people and the way they integrate technology into their lives to stay connected, it's really finally coming together across the board with products from a whole range of industries. The key is not just throwing the technology in there, but making sure it's easy to use and something the audience can relate to."

The Tantrum Audex helmet is available in Matte Black, Stealth Gray or White/Silver, while the Ordinance Audex Padded Hat comes in either black or white.

Both products will go on sale this December and will retail for $249.95 and $179.95 respectively.