Motorola Heads To The Slopes - InformationWeek

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Motorola Heads To The Slopes

Motorola has developed with apparel maker Burton a line of outerwear for snowboarders that includes cell-phone technology and a portable music player.

Motorola Inc. on Tuesday said it has developed with apparel maker Burton a line of outerwear for snowboarders that includes cell-phone technology and a portable music player.

The two companies, which have been working on the clothing line since the spring of 2004, leverages Bluetooth wireless technology in the devices, which have been embedded within a snowboarding jacket, helmet and beanie, a spokeswoman for Schaumburg, Ill.-based Motorola said.

In launching the clothing line, the 75-year-old handset maker is apparently looking for a hipper image to attract the attention of the youth and young adult market, both major users of cellular phones and digital music players.

"The snowboarding fraternity is renowned for its collective sense of style, on and off the slopes, and Burton's and Motorola's designers have made no compromises in looks, styling and performance," the spokeswoman said in an e-mail.

The jackets, which are available for men and women, have a control unit with caller ID, an on/off power button, voice dial, battery meter and MP3 player controls. Stereo speakers are built into the jacket's hood and a microphone is embedded near the collar.

The control module, speakers and microphones can be removed before washing and later returned. The speakers can also be removed and used as stand-alone, over-the-ear headphones.

The helmet and beanie have a Bluetooth stereo MP3 module and wireless connection to any Bluetooth cellular phone. The speakers also can be removed and used as stand-alone headphones.

The Motorola-Burton collection was created in collaboration with Motorola engineers, and ergonomics and design teams in the U.S. and Italy. Burlington, Vermont-based, Burton contributed its design teams, as well as the input from snowboarders.

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