FreeLinc last week atin Las Vegas debuted wireless accessory products that leverage magnetic-induction technology to let two-way radio users communicate hands-free without introducing security risks, according to company officials.
Wireless headsets and microphones that incorporate RF-based solutions have been available for years, but first-responder agencies like the Drug Enforcement Agency have avoided them because their transmissions can be intercepted relatively easily, FreeLinc CEO Tony Sutera said. In contrast, magnetic wavelengths are inherently secure, in part because they do not emit transmissions outside a “bubble” that extends just three feet from the person talking. In addition, FreeLinc employs rolling encryption of the signals.
Other benefits of magnetic induction--a technology harnessed by FreeLinc partner Aura Communications, a company with roots from MIT--include seven to 10 times greater power efficiency than Bluetooth technology. As a result, the FreeLinc adapter attached to a two-way radio is powered by the radio.
“And we can do it all for the same price as an RF device,” Sutera said.
FreeLinc’s FreeMotion 200 is a lightweight earpiece that contains a speaker and a boom microphone, while featuring push-to-talk and voice-operated transmission (VOX) capability. The first 100 units are scheduled to be shipped to existing customers in June, with the product being generally available in July, said Thomas Smith, FreeLinc’s senior vice president of operations.
In the fall, FreeLinc plans to offer the FreeMic 200, a wireless lapel speaker microphone, and the FreeRange 200, a dual earmuff headset.