DETROIT — The U.S. Patent Office has awarded Johnson Controls two new patents on a wireless connectivity technology for use in vehicles. The technology can rely on the Bluetooth communications protocol to allow wireless connection of a cellular phone to an in-vehicle audio system. This enables the driver or other vehicle occupant to place and receive calls in a "hands-free" manner.
Johnson Controls has commercialized this unique technology in the U.S. market — and in other countries — under the BlueConnect trademark. Its first U.S. patent for this technology was awarded in August 2007.
The system has been tested and validated at the Johnson Controls WAVE acoustics laboratory in Holland, Mich., U.S.A., where in-vehicle evaluations of the voice transmission quality of the product have been conducted. It also has been tested at the company’s radio frequency test facility, the first of its kind to receive Federal Communications Commission (FCC) certification in North America.
The BlueConnect hands-free system is carrier-independent and service- independent. It requires no monthly subscription fees. The only fee consumers pay is their regular monthly cellular phone bill.
In 2003, Johnson Controls began supplying BlueConnect hands-free systems for production vehicles manufactured by a major automaker.