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The Wireless Headset Industry - Over 40 Years of Convenient Comm

The wireless headset was a great invention and, in today’s world, whether walking down the street, working in an office, sitting at home, or driving a vehicle you can find somebody using a wireless headset for some kind of communication. With this widespread popularity of the wireless headset it is pretty hard to believe that, upon release of wireless headsets, they were only accessible to the elite few in society. Now which elite few got to wear an early wireless headset? That’s easy, as a new invention, the wireless headset was only meant for use by pilots, and, you guessed it, astronauts.

Sky Pilots and the Wireless Headset.

The decade is the 1960’s and pilots of the day are not fans of the large, overweight headsets that they have to use for communication. Many of these pilots actually prefer the use of handheld microphones to these bulky headsets. At this time, United Airlines decides it is time for a change and begins to start looking at lightweight headset options from whoever has an idea and, luckily, Courtney Graham and Keith Larkin, two pilots, decide to take a running start at it. These names may seem familiar as, from their wireless headset prototype built with 2 transducers and a headband, they created Pacific Plantronics, known today as Plantronics Inc. Plantronics is now one of the biggest wireless headset companies around with many different wireless headsets available; over the ear wireless headset, in ear wireless headset, and over the head wireless headset types are a few.

Astronauts and the Wireless Headset

It may seem weird for the wireless headset industry but the people in space were not the first with the technology. After the success of the wireless headset used by airline pilots, a NASA astronaut decided it was time for space to take advantage of the wireless headset industry. This astronaut, Wally Schirra, contacted Pacific Plantronics to discuss a design of wireless headset that could be used by the astronauts in space. From this initial discussion of the wireless headset, Plantronics put the Space Environmental Communications division together to begin to work on this new wireless headset design. In the short period of 11 days, this division of Plantronics, with the help of NASA, designed and implemented a wireless headset that met the wireless headset requirements for Mr. Schirra and NASA. This new wireless headset device was a bit different then the wireless headset used by pilots mind you. Since the wireless headset would be used in space, and communication to other astronauts and the earth was so important, this wireless headset consisted of 2 built-in transducers for each microphone circuit and 5 transducers for each receiver circuit. This addition to the wireless headset made it much more reliable and secure.

One point of interest for this wireless headset is how much it has been used since its creation. From the point of creation, this wireless headset was used for the rest of the Mercury missions, Appollo missions, and in some cases is still used today. The most widely known use of this wireless headset device, named the MS-50, was by Neil Armstrong.

Regular Joes and the Wireless Headset

Ever since the success of the MS-50 wireless headset, the wireless headset industry has grown exponentially. It started with all the big communication companies. Once these companies realized the wireless headset technology was there it was time, with the help of Plantronics, to update their outdated systems with new systems integrating wireless headset devices. Slowly the smaller companies had a need for wireless headset devices and with the added demand soon came the decline in cost. Now, everywhere you look you can find a wireless headset. It is even the law in many places that you cannot use a cell phone without a wireless headset while driving a car.