O Rokr + Thump 2 Reviews- 11.02.06
You’ve been hearing that wearable tech will be the next big thing for a while now, and some impressive design projects come out, but its certainly not something we see/use everyday yet. On the forefront of wearable electronics, Oakley’s Thump 2 and O Rokr have made some waves, and after hearing all the hype and grumbles, we have a pair of them in the studio… (lots of pictures of packaging, details, etc below!) - and they are really fun. With the holidays around the corner, these definitely fall into the category of perfect gifts for the active tech savvy one that has everything… The Thump 2 I’ve tried out holds up to 1gig of music, top secret files, etc. (connects via USB). The O Rokr is the Oakley/Motorola collaboration which “gives you absolute wireless freedom, digital stereo fidelity and patented optical clarity.” in other words it’s both your bluetooth headset and streams music from your ipod, while still having the high quality of Oakley’s optics. More below for my impressions of the two.
First design detail to jump out at me? The ear buds have T-rex arms! Not sure how else to describe them they are surprisingly flexible, and with 3 joints with the ear buds on the ends, they really will fit in your ear, hang just outside of it, rotate away when you want to hear something else…
Thump 2 ~ 1gig mp3 player/storage device built into sunglasses
Three buttons on the right side for forward, backward, and the center is play/pause. Two buttons on the left to control volume. This is certainly for simpler usage, no fancy repeat/shuffle/etc… but if you’re running around in the outdoors, hanging from a boulder or sailing a boat - simple can be nice.
The USB is located on the underside of the buttons - the glasses are great quality, as you’d expect from Oakley ~ and the USB worked like any USB drive should when plugged into my Mac - drag and drop and you’re ready to go.
O Rokr~ Bluetooth phone and iPod handsfree built into sunglasses ~ switchable lenses too.
Out of the box - the bluetooth works as easily as you’d expect it to. (Just don’t do what i did and have everything on and discoverable in the same room trying to sync to each other) You hold down a button to turn it on, hold down longer for the light to go solid red (pairing mode) and when it flashes green, you’re good to go. It paired with my Treo, then my iPod (thanks to the icombi adapter)… and started playing some music.
The buttons are the same as the Thump, only on the left side there is a third button in the middle which is your call button, to pickup/hangup the phone. While listening to music, had a friend call me, phone rings, sends it to the glasses, and you hear it and pick up with the touch of the button. Microphone is located on the underside of the frames, and sound quality seemed fine. It’s highly convenient that you can keep your ipod and phone in your purse/backpack and just use the glasses to take phone calls and listen as you wander around. (great for running around campus between classes?) Also i liked how seamlessly it went right back to where i was in the song when i hung up the call.
Charges through a standard motorola USB charger ~ you can also get a car charger. Other nice feature, you can change the lenses on this model, there are a few color/tint options available.
Conclusions: They are definitely a sign of things to come, and i would have to categorize them as a fun toy or a great gift for someone with deeper pockets (the 1gig Thump 2 will set you back about $350, and the O Rokr with the iPod Adapter about $300). As far as quality and technology - they sound great, work well, and well, it’s Oakley, you know they are good glasses. Style wise, its for the outdoors set. Not exactly ready to switch my fun giant Prada’s for these in most situations. That being said - its perfect for when you’re out and about ~ running, hiking, sailing, snowboarding beach bumming, just sitting outside reading between classes… anytime you’re out in the sun and want something simple and wireless. (You must admit, these Oakley Gadgets certainly do simplify what you’re carrying around!) As for functionality, it does what it says it will do, and does it well… my only qualm is i wish i could somehow use them when it wasn’t sunny out! I know, they are sunglasses - but they can’t be my primary handsfree, because i’d look a bit silly putting on sunglasses in a dark restaurant just to use my handsfree.
SO. I like them. They would go into my “fun tech to own and play with” category, and definitely a landmark in wearable tech progress. But for now, their functionality is best for very specific sunny situations (good thing i’m in LA?).
with the holiday season practically upon us, feeling generous, thinking these would be fun giveaways for readers…