After 2 different generations wireless communication devices for motorcycles, it looks like Cardo have taken a lead on all the other manufacturers with their latest Scala Rider G4 Bluetooth communication device.
Bluetooth enabled devices until now had some limitations. Range was initially limited to 10 meters, and then extended to 300-400 meters. Initially, you could only communicate with one other device, usually your pillion.
But Cardo's new Scala Rider G4 breaks all the barriers.
The G4 allows you not only to communicate with 3 other devices, but also the range is now about 1.6 kilometer (1 mile, transmission obstacles and weather dependent). What this means, is that you can ride with 2 other motorcycles and talk to them, like in a typical bike-to-bike walkie-talkie set up (but then obviously limited to a total of 3 bikes), or if you have pillions, two motorcycles with their pillions can have a conversation. The combinations are 1) you and a pillion, 2) you and up to 2 other riders, 3) you and your pillion plus another rider and pillion.
The normal functions of a motorcycle communication gear using Bluetooth are still available. You can pair your unit to a mobile phone (only use that when you are at a standstill, please), music (yes, the G4 offers A2DP, therefore full stereo) and GPS. Therefore, without wires, you can listen to your music and receive navigation instructions on the go.
The G4 also allows you to interface to non-Bluetooth devices, since it has a standard audio jack, allowing you to plug in for example an "old" MP3 player, or heaven forbid, a CD-player.
The G4 is backwards compatible, meaning if you have older version of the Scala Rider, you can use them, but you'll not have the extended range, and limited functionality.
The G4 is also equipped with a RDSRadio Data System, or RDS, is a communications protocol standard from the European Broadcasting Union for sending small amounts of digital information using conventional FM radio broadcasts. The RDS system standardises several types of information transmitted, including time, track/artist info and station identification. RDS has been standard in Europe and Latin America since the early 1990s, but less so in North America. FM radio. You can memorize up to 6 FM radio stations, and listen to them. No need to plug them in, since they are onboard of the G4.
Another interesting point is that these units can have their software upgraded, by plugging them into your Windows PC (USB port), downloading the latest firmware from Cardo, and uploading them into the G4.
The battery technology has changed as well. You can now talk for 10 hours nonstop before requiring to charge (a full recharge will take 3 hours). In standby mode, the battery will last 7 days.
Click here to read more about the Scala G4 .