Nov 162005
Authors: Dominic Graziano

You love using your iPod. You love using your Bluetooth-enabled hands-free cell phone. You love to bomb down the mountain. If someone would bring those things together, you might never take off your boots.

Don't unlace them quite yet.

Motorola and Burton, a company specializing in snowboard gear, teamed up to make every technophile's dreams come true.

Burton will release a jacket called the "Audex" series in December. Short for Audio External Communication Systems, the Audex is even cooler than its name lets on.

First, the control panel. This eight-button marvel is embedded into the left sleeve of the jacket, making it easy to make and answer phone calls while skipping through tracks on your iPod. It doesn't end there, the remote has an LCD display on it that lets you know who's bugging you on the hill without even taking out your cell phone.

The jacket has interior padded pockets for your little gadgets, a true bane of cell-phone dealers everywhere; you have to fall really hard in order to break your phone and buy a replacement.

But wait, there's more! The jacket's hood makes auditory and oratory dreams come true with built in headphones and microphone. And since all the electronic components of the jacket are detachable, you won't have any excuses for not throwing it in with the rest of your laundry.

I know what you're thinking, "I don't think its such a great idea to be talking on my cell phone and listening to my iPod while narrowly avoiding little kids in day-glo snow suits with no helmet on my head."

Worry not, oh cautious snow bunny, thanks to our good friends in the helmet industry you can use your kick-ass jacket, iPod, and cell phone all while keeping your noggin nice and safe. K2 and Giro both make helmets with speaker and microphone capability.

For those of you who are a little more advanced/daring/not concerned with safety, Burton makes a beanie with speakers built into it. At least you can listen to music while your head stays warm, even if it is broken.

But why stop at jackets and headgear? Burton is also the maker of an iPod-integrated backpack. It has a remote control on a shoulder strap and a special spot made specifically for your little toy. With a headphone jack on the other strap you can even hook it up to your beanie or helmet.

I hope that your fear of being separated from your gadgets when you participate in extreme sports has been eradicated, at least for winter sports. Now if only someone could come out with an iPod ready speedo.



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