RideConnected allows for unlimited users at any distance
When communication device companies talk about their products, they usually talk in terms of how many people can be connected and at what distance.
Sena Technologies does the same with many of its products, but its new app eliminates those obstacles. The RideConnected App can connect large groups of riders from anywhere in the world.
The app, demonstrated to Powersports Business in beta form at AIMExpo, but now available to users, allows Sena Bluetooth device owners to connect their headsets to the app, then communicate with any of their friends who have done the same. The connection is run through the smartphone’s connectivity to Wi-Fi or LTE data.
“It’s free to download, and it’s compatible with any Bluetooth-enabled headset because essentially you’re pairing your phone to your headset. Essentially it’s using the intercom function through the app using cellular data,” explained Leah Langford, marketing specialist at Sena.
The app is available for iOS or Android phones and can be downloaded for free from the iTunes or Google Play stores. Each rider creates his or her own profile with a photo, a name and a dashboard. Friends can connect with each other by sending an SMS text via the app, using the GPS feature, or by sharing a unique four-digit code.
“It’s cellular data, so there’s no limitation to distance or the amount of people you have in a group, so you can potentially have six people all in different states, riding at the same time, talking,” Langford said.
She added, “It’s a cool thing that really shows where technology can be.”
Those who have a Sena Bluetooth 4.1 device and the app can control the app with the same voice commands as used with their device.
At October’s AIMExpo, Sena had a variety of new products that were being introduced or in the process of being developed. One is the FreeWire, which lets Harley-Davidson and Honda Gold Wing riders connect to their infotainment system wirelessly.
The FreeWire is a Bluetooth adapter that allows riders to communicate with their CB radio, hear GPS directions, listen to music and more through any Bluetooth headset. More functionality is added when it’s paired with a Sena 20S or 10S headset.
“You’re going to have full interaction with your infotainment system, so you can use the CB radio, the onboard communication and just everything. Everything you can do with a cord, you’re going to be able to do without it. And then also basically you’re going to have the functionality of a Bluetooth unit as well, on top of that,” Langford reported.
The FreeWire has a 3.5mm AUX port to add any non-Bluetooth-enabled devices (such as GPS devices, radar detectors or MP3 players) to the system. And the unit can be mounted with the included handlebar mount or mounting cradle for placement on the bike itself. When a second FreeWire and Bluetooth headset are purchased, riders can communicate with their passengers via the motorcycle’s internal intercom system.
The orange Harley-Davidson version is available now, while the red Gold Wing version will be available soon. Each unit retails for $249.
Before the FreeWire was launched, it already sparked interest, and Sena had racked up 900 preorders by October.
“It’s a very fiercely loyal market that’s been pushing us to do it for years,” Langford said.
More new products
In addition to the FreeWire, Sena introduced the upcoming 30K headset at AIMExpo. The unit uses Sena’s Adaptive Mesh-Networking technology.
“With the mesh technology, everyone’s connected to everyone, and you can do 16 connections. So four people can talk at once, and everyone else is hearing it, and then you just bop yourself in and talk, and everyone’s hearing it. And if anyone goes out of range, everyone else is still connected. And then it’s also intelligently looking for the disconnected rider, so if you come back in range, it’s seamlessly back together,” Langford explained.
The 30K also allows for simultaneous use of a Bluetooth connection for devices such as music players, GPS units, or FM tuners. The 30K works within 1.2 miles of paired units. It also runs for four hours of talk time on a 15-minute charge or for 13 hours on a full charge. It will retail for $349.
The 10C Evo is an updated version of the 10C. The unit is a Bluetooth 4.1 headset with a built-in camera. New with the 10C Evo is a sleeker silhouette and an improved camera resolution of 2k and 30 frames per second. The device connects up to four riders and reaches up to one mile. With Wi-Fi capability, it allows users to easily transfer video from the 10C Evo to a smartphone.
On the helmet side, Sena introduced the Calvary Half-Helmet, a half-helmet with a built-in Bluetooth communication system, HD speakers and a microphone. The helmet allows users to have a helmet and a communication system without having to install the headset. It allows for four-way Bluetooth communication up to a distance of half a mile. The helmet was developed with Advanced Noise Control and Wind Noise Reduction. Available now, it’s priced at $349.
Set to be released early this year is Sena’s Intelligent Noise Control (INC) Helmet. The helmet was introduced in 2015, but development has continued to perfect the product before it goes to market. The INC module analyzes sound information through its microphones and adjusts to quiet harmful noises, while still allowing the rider to hear important sounds, such as sirens, traffic and the bike’s RPMs. With the Ambient Mode activated, riders can hear everything clearly without having to remove the helmet. The INC helmet also has a Bluetooth module that allows the rider to make phone calls, listen to music or intercom with other riders. It will have a $799 MSRP.