Cobra Electronics Corporation, a marketer of marine, automotive, mobile and consumer electronics, has received US Patent No. 8,311,546 from the US Patent and Trademark Office, or USPTO, for its Bluetooth-enabled marine radio technology.
Among other claims and applications, the patent covers the ability to initiate and receive cellular telephone calls from and through purpose-built marine radios and related equipment.
There are a host of benefits to this application, including improved call quality due to reduced wind and boat noise, along with environmental benefits, since cell phones are typically not impervious to water, salt and prolonged sun exposure.
The patent granted, entitled "Marine Communication Device with Wireless Cellular Telephone Connectivity," includes 31 claims involving wireless communications interoperability between marine communications devices and cellular phones.
The patent is described in the granted patent abstract as a wireless communication device for use in a noisy or harsh environment in connection with a cellular telephone is disclosed.
The wireless communication device provides enhanced audio broadcasting capabilities for an operator of the device by providing a speaker than that typically found in a cellular telephone. The apparatus of the present invention improves cellular telephone usage in the typically noisy and harsh environment found while operating a boat.
The present apparatus further provides a half-duplex mode of communication to further reduce ambient noise experienced while using a cellular telephone in a noisy environment.
In another embodiment, the apparatus is connectable to a variety of external devices and is capable of operating the external devices and providing internet access for a variety of external devices through a cellular telephone connection. In at least one embodiment, the present invention is connectable to any transceiver.
"Boating, especially in salt water conditions, can be harsh on boaters and their equipment, and cell phones are especially prone to the effects of sun, salt, wind and water," said Sally Washlow, senior vice president for marketing and sales for Cobra Electronics.
"Marine radios, on the other hand, have been specifically engineered to withstand these conditions. This new patent award means that Cobra marine radios will be the only marine radios on the market with Bluetooth integration that allows a user to make and receive phone calls directly from their radio."