What Bluetooth Can Do for You
This last summer I took my girlfriend and daughter to our first ever drive in theater. I have to say, that was one of the coolest experiences I have ever had! I loved every minute of it, the warm summer breeze, the ability to control the heat and A/C, the peals of laughter in a tiny space really felt like an experience that I had been missing. I could talk a little bit during the movie, and it wasn’t a big deal. The movie was the Incredibles 2, which I highly recommend. The thing that I noticed most was that we were hearing the movie through my truck’s speakers! If the movie got really quiet, I could turn it up, if it was too loud, I could turn it down. Mostly what this did was made me feel involved in the entire movie experience, and didn’t have to constantly lean over and ask my girlfriend, “now what did they say?”
What made this all happen? The theater was broadcasting on an FM frequency that you tuned your radio to before the movie started. This was really interesting, because if you rolled your windows down, or even turned your own radio off, there was a surround sound effect regardless because so many other people had their windows down. The only problem with this was they had a relatively weak signal where we were sitting, so every once in a while; we would get a little interference from an unknown source. I didn’t mind, because the experience was overwhelmingly awesome. It did get me thinking though. How could I bring this experience with me back home? So I started brainstorming, and came up with a simple, but elegant (if I say so myself) design. What I would do is go get a projector and a Bluetooth USB plug; use my PlayStation4, truck radio with Bluetooth receiver. I ran an extension cord out to my truck that was strategically placed on the lawn, and get some blankets and popcorn and let the good times roll! The girls loved every minute of the “drive in” and I have to say, it was certainly a unique application of the technology, I would highly recommend doing this. I’m sure there are many other ideas out there to make family nights magical.
Have you used Bluetooth recently?
This is one of many examples that the use of technology makes things just a little special. For a setup that cost $600 dollars, I get to make permanent memories of warm summer nights for my daughter, and my girlfriend’s family. That sounds like a lot, but if you have a DVD player lying around, it can drop the cost to about $100, plus a clean white sheet and thumbtacks. This is just the tip of the iceberg though. There are Bluetooth mice for computers, speakers, headphones, or even the PlayStation controllers I was using! Gone is the era of 20 foot controller cables sprawled out over the floor, just begging to be tripped on and rip your controller from its port at best, and at worst throw your expensive console to the ground. There are rare times when you need to worry about cables having wear points near the connection, and rendering your device useless. Instead of having to hassle with adapters, and a giant box of cables from consoled gone by, I only have 3 wires to hassle with. Those are a power supply, an HDMI from the PlayStation to the projector, and a controller charger. The last cable is optional if you charge in advance. This in effect drops the trip hazard down to one highly visible power cable that you can run far out of a footpath, and effectively negate a trip or breakage hazard.
I know you can link smartphones to your watch, Fitbit, headset, car speakers, or whatever else you can think of. It’s not important what sort of device has Bluetooth technology; it’s important that this level of device integration is available to the general public at a reasonable price, and it boasts good reception. It allows you to get instant feedback from a device and with a significantly reduced risk for electromagnetic or radio frequency interference, as I had experienced in the drive in theater. I understand why they didn’t pass out Bluetooth receivers to every patron, as it would be prohibitively expensive, and not every vehicle is Bluetooth compatible. This technology would absolutely improve customer experience though. I just happened to adapt the concept that they had to my own application to fit my needs.
I am very interested to hear any ways you might have used this or another technology in a unique way. If you have a story, please comment below!