Mobile phone headsets for crash helmets

CeBIT Digital Living: Commuters will be able to tell their loved ones that 'I'm on the motorbike' with less risk of being pulled over

Bikers are now able to talk and ride by using a mobile phone headset for crash helmets, demonstrated by Italian hi-tech accessory company Cellular Line at the CeBIT trade show this week.

The headsets, which connect to a mobile phone by a wire, allow riders to answer the phone while wearing their helmets. It includes a answer/call button and fits onto the exterior of the helmet, usually on the left-hand side. The company claims this allows riders to answer calls and hang up in "complete safety".

In the UK, it is an offence to use a hand-held mobile when driving a car. This legislation, which came into effect in December 2003, did not outlaw the pressing of buttons on a mobile phone by a motorcyclist as long as they weren't actually holding the phone.

However, the Department of Transport has warned that "hands-free phones are also distracting and you still risk prosecution for failing to have proper control of a vehicle". Companies have been warned that they could face prosecution if they don't supply hands-free kits to staff that need them.

The headsets, which can be used with most helmets (full face, open face and flip-up), have audio capabilities at speeds up to 100km/hr.

For a look at the fun side of CeBIT, check out our CeBIT Digital Living special. Or visit ZDNet UK's CeBIT Toolkit for more enterprise technology stories and pictures from the show floor.