Bem Wireless Speaker Band was presented at CES 2014 in Las Vegas, this accessory is a wearable Bluetooth speaker.
It is a really useful gadget for blind people, as it does not force anyone to wear headphones while walking on the road, with the White cane in hand or holding dog's guide; you finally can have hands and ears free!
This speaker is square-shaped, made of plastic while the band is rubber made, it must be worn as a standard watch. At 3 o'clock hour, on the side of the square, there is the round Play button; to the right and the left of play button, we can find two Arrow-shaped buttons which are next track, previous track, or, volume up and down if these buttons are held down.
At 6 o'clock, just over the band, you can find the standard micro USB charger and the round power on, power off, and pairing button.
How it works:
- press and hold the round power button till speaker says: power on.
After pairing speaker at the first time, pairing is automatically set, so it's sufficient to turn Bluetooth on, on the iDevice, and then look for Speaker band and pair it, the band's voice will say: connected!
Or, otherwise, if you wish to pair a second device, turn the speaker on, when it says Power on, hold the power button down, till it says, pairing, then release it.
Warning: to turn the speaker off, hold the Play button down, till it says Power off. The only trouble is that, when Bluetooth on the iPhone is turned on, the speaker band's voice does not say Power off, this sentence is pronounced when Bluetooth on the iPhone is already off. But, no worries: even if it does not talk, and Bluetooth is on, speaker band turns off, and you notice it because audio will come back from iPhone's speaker.
When connected, all our applications and music start talking from your wrist, including VoiceOver, and apps such as Seeing assistant move.
Increase the volume by holding down the Next/Up Arrow-shaped button, till it fits your needs.
This speaker can invoke siri from your wrist as it has a built-in microphone.
Press the Play button twice quickly, the button found at 3 o'clock on the band's side. You'll hear a beep, and then the normal Siri acoustic signal. Talk, and wait for reaction.
To answer a call, you just need to press Play button once, when the phone rings; the good thing is this speaker reads you the caller's numbmer. For example: 3, 9, 3, 3, 8, 3, and so on; it's an English speaking female voice, a sample which is used also in other Bluetooth headsets, pressing Play button again, when finished the call, closes the conversation. Decline a call while phone rings, just hold Play button down. Holding the play down in stand-by mode, dials last called number.
Music playback works as a normal remote control; play-pause, next-prev; tested with standard music app, tune in radio, spotify and other popular music softwares.
I add that this speaker has also been tested with BlindSquare's audio menu functionality and no trouble has been detected!
This accessory costs about 49 dollars in vendor's web site, and is about 15 pounds in amazon.uk, while 37 dollars on amazon US.
BEM Wireless, the producer, is aware of importance of this accessory for blind people!
Of course this is not a smart watch, it's just a speaker, which fits the needs of people who just have the need of free ears and free hand but no need for special features.
Battery charge, lasts 6 hours of conversation, and band can be charged by a normal micro USB cable.
The only disadvantage I found, is that it is a bit thick and may result uncomfortable while wearing shirts for example, and that rubber seems not of a very robust quality.