Sure, you've seen Bluetooth speakerphones before, but this BlueAnt S4 is the first to be completely hands-free. That means all you need to do is say "BlueAnt speak to me" and it wakes up, ready to make or receive calls on your cellphone. It can even search Microsoft Bing for movie times or stock quotes. It'll also announce who's calling, and you can tell it whether you want to answer the call or ignore it.
We're hoping that texting ditz-brain who pulled out in front of us today will use this S4 — its text-to-speech tech can read out SMS and email messages. Unfortunately, hearing the incoming messages might make those driving texters even more tempted to respond. And that can't be done via voice recognition on the BlueAnt S4.
Either way, the experts we met at that sophisticated driving simulator we visited last year told us that hands-free speakerphones do little to reduce driver distraction — the problem starts when the person's attention is directed somewhere miles away from the vehicle.
That said, this is a fine-looking speakerphone, and BlueAnt says it has "rich audio quality" that's "best in class." We're skeptical — high quality background noise reduction is extremely difficult to do in a noisy car. Want to find out how well it works? It'll be available on June 6 for $100.