Ever wish you drove a sentient, intelligent talking car--like KITT in Knight Rider? Unfortunately, we still don’t have that kind of technology readily available, but at least voice-controlled Bluetooth hands-free car kits, like this one from Moshi, help us keep our eyes on the road while we’re driving.
The Moshi pairs easily with any Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone. All it took was saying “Hello, Moshi” to get it activated, though you’ll next need to memorize the 15 voice commands that it recognizes. They’re simple and intuitive--when we wanted to figure out the status of the battery life on both our mobile phones and the device itself, we’d command it to “Check battery.” Or we’d activate the voice command on our mobile phones to phone a buddy by name. And if lost on unfamiliar roads, we could shout out “Call information!” for the device to dial Bing 411 and get directions. You can also ask it to give you a list of commands it responds to at any time.
The pill-shaped Moshi has two volume buttons and one main button that you push to engage voice control or cancel an action. This gadget is supposed to stay clipped to the sun visor above you, but the headroom in the sedan we tested it with proved an uncomfortable fit. And when we plugged in the device to its car charger, the cord tended to get in our way.
At least making phone calls through the voice control was easy, and we liked how the device beeps to let you know it’s connecting to a call. The Moshi could hear us through loud music on the stereo and our tires thumping on rougher roads, but our friends on the other line could tell that we were “distant” during calls. But when we put the Moshi down by the gearshift, the device then had a tough time figuring out our commands. For the best call quality, we found ourselves having to hold it up to our mouths as we were driving, which sort of defeats the purpose of a hands-free device.