Dynamic Meshwork Communication technology also showcased
Cardo Systems will be releasing a new scala rider Freecom line of communicators in February, the company announced at AIMExpo.
Scala Rider Freecom
Freecom will replace the current Q Series of products and will be available through distributors Tucker Rocky and Parts Unlimited.
“They’re all going to have 4.1 Bluetooth, slimmest communicators in the market, redesigned audio kit surface mount so that nothing hangs down lower than the helmet, large 40mm HD speakers, parallel audio streaming and all will have Cardo Gateway — every intercom will support universal pairing,” Cardo VP of sales Jamie Cheek said.
Each Freecom unit will also have VOX, which is voice control for receiving or rejecting incoming mobile or intercom calls, as well as FM radio with quick scan and the RDS radio data system. Each unit is 100 percent waterproof, and they all work with Cardo’s SmartSet app, which works as a full remote control.
The Freecom 1 is designed for the solo rider. “It gives the rider the ability to use his phone or GPS while they ride. They can make a call, get directions and listen to music on the slim HD 40mm speakers,” Cheek said.
The Freecom 2 is for a rider and passenger, while the Freecom 4 is for two- to four-rider communication intercom.
“The Freecom 4 is group intercom from two to four riders up to three-quarters of a mile, and one nice thing over the Q3 that it’s replacing is that in the Q3, you could bring in four people, but you had to toggle to talk to different people in the group. Here, you have full Bluetooth intercom conference,” Cheek explained.
The Freecom 2 and 4 also offer parallel streaming, which allows music or GPS directions to play in the background of a conversation.
“I know personally there’s nothing more obnoxious than listening to a song and having it stop-start, stop-start, stop-start while you’re talking to somebody. It’s a major feature. It doesn’t sound incredible until you see and experience going from not having it to having it,” Cheek said.
DMC Meshwork technology
In addition to the new Freecom products, Cardo also highlighted its Smartpack, Packtalk and SmartH at AIMExpo. The SmartH is a Smartpack communicator designed specifically to work with and fit on HJC helmets.
All three products use the Dynamic Meshwork Communication (DMC) technology, which was released more than a year ago by Cardo. DMC uses meshwork communication rather than Bluetooth to connect riders. In essence, it allows riders to disconnect and reconnect instantly with each other without having to pair back up each time, like some traditional Bluetooth communicators do. And it allows one rider to drop out, while the connection among the others continues.
“Bluetooth is a daisy chain; you break the chain, the group goes away. You change the dynamic of how everyone’s connected after you’ve set it up, and you have to stop and start over again,” Cheek explained. “The DMC uses Bluetooth for connectivity … but it’s a mesh-style, meaning it’s a self-repairing network, and when it recognizes a change, it adjusts to resolve that issue immediately, so it will bounce a different way to get to everyone in the group. So everyone is in communication with everyone else in the group.”
Cheek has experienced the benefits of the DMC himself while dirt riding, street riding and snowmobiling. The DMC technology is unmatched, he said.
“When you’ve paired to someone, you’re now pretty much paired for life. If you leave your house with the device on and you ride up to your buddy’s house to meet up with him, when you get within range of his communicator, if it’s on, you’re now connected. There’s no pairing that has to go on,” Cheek said.
The DMC technology is especially useful when riding in mountainous areas or when a group gets separated. The connection may break for a period, but it will mend itself as soon as the devices are in range again. It’s also helpful when some riders continue on a journey, but one person drops out of range for a stop or to go home. Conversation among the others can still continue.
“That’s what DMC really is. It’s a self-healing mesh network that gets rid of the daisy chain and increases functionality,” Cheek said.
The Smartpack connects two to four riders up to three miles, while the Packtalk works for 2 to 15 people up to five miles.