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Photos: Get your Bluetooth into 007's style

The top 10 best Bluetooth gadgets
By Jo Best, Contributor on
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1 of 10 Jo Best/ZDNET

The top 10 best Bluetooth gadgets

With the release of Casino Royale upon us, Bluetooth can facilitate your transformation into 007, it seems. A number of watch manufacturers have decided to include Bluetooth in their latest pieces of wrist-wear with a view to giving that secret agent feel by allowing you to control your communications from your watch.

This timepiece, the MBW-100 from Fossil and Sony Ericsson, allows you to accept calls or select MP3s on your phone and will even warn you if you're about to walk off without your mobile.

Photo credit: Fossil and Sony Ericsson

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GPS is not a box in your car. If you're in need of some map assistance while out walking, you can turn your mobile into a sat-nav device with the help of Bluetooth and a pocket-sized GPS receiver, such as this Navigator from TomTom.

All the maps are stored on a memory card and viewed using the phone's screen - and you can still accept calls or reads texts as normal.

Photo credit: TomTom

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Instead of giving yourself a hernia by lugging your laptop around on your way to presentations, just take your smart phone and one of these - a Bluetooth projector. Using Bluetooth, a device such as this iGo Pitch Duo can allow you to display all the documents and presentations to an audience.

It's worth noting that many such projectors offer proprietary solutions for their presentation software rather than the industry standards such as PowerPoint.

Photo credit: iGo

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If you're a CrackBerry addict but find yourself getting finger strain while struggling with tiny keys, a Bluetooth keyboard could be the answer. And it's another neat way of getting around the need to take a laptop on business trips.

While using a keyboard with a smart phone might seemingly go against the idea of packing light, most keyboards are reduced in size compared to the PC equivalents and fold over for maximum smallness, such as this Freedom device.

Photo credit: Freedom Input

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As most people should be aware, driving while talking on a mobile phone is illegal and offenders can typically expect a £30 fine - soon to be upped to £60 with an additional three points on your licence. So getting a handsfree kit for your car is the way to go.

Most handsfree kits work by connecting the phone to an audio system fixed somewhere in the vehicle, allowing drivers to chat without having to hold a device to their ear. However, some types will need you to accept the call manually with a button press. For extra handsfree brownie-points, consider a voice-controlled system.

Photo credit: Nokia

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To the uninitiated, the Bluetooth digital pen may have a whiff of technology for technology's sake about it. However, some organisations are already embracing digital pens - like the Nokia one shown here - with form-filling staff in the public sector among some of the leading proponents.

Among those already trialling digital pens is Leeds City Council, which is rolling out digital paper and pens to 1,300 social care workers in a bid to save £1.2m by 2008. Social workers in Greenwich, meanwhile, have been trialling a digital pen and paper system since April

Photo credit: Nokia

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If wires really aren't your thing and digital music is, Bluetooth headphones could fit your digital lifestyle. Bluetooth can be used to connect wireless headphones to a range of portable devices including phones as well as MP3 players.

While Bluetooth and battery draining nightmares are often thought of as synonymous, headphones usually can offer more charge than the phone they're connected to. These headphones, for example, the Creative CB2530, have eight hours of playback.

Photo credit: Creative

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If music be the food of love, connect your mobile to some speakers via Bluetooth - as Shakespeare might have said if he had been a technophile. Orange has already jumped on the bandwagon of phone-as-MP3-player with these Bluetooth bad boys.

Unlike most iPod speakers that work similarly, the addition of Bluetooth means you can control your tunes wirelessly from up to 10 metres away.

Photo credit: Orange

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Bluetooth headsets are everywhere now - but if the thought of looking like an extra from Doctor Who has put you off in the past, the latest generation of headsets are far more stylish beasts.

Sony Ericsson, for example, has smartened up some of its headsets such as this HBH-IV835 by removing the around the ear hook, while companies such as Jabra allow you to customise your headset with a range of patterns or by adding your own text.

Photo credit: Sony Ericsson

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Of course, Bluetooth isn't just about phones. If you want to connect up a Bluetooth gadget to your PC, you'll just need one of these - a Bluetooth dongle. Just slip it in your USB port and you're away.

And if you thought Bluetooth was all about short range, think again. Some dongles, such as this one from Linksys, have a range of 100 metres.

Photo credit: Linksys

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