Well, that didn’t take long. Back in March, 2022, Cardo Systems, Midland, and UClear were three of the four Bluetooth communications companies announcing a push for industry standards in the communications niche (with Sygn House being the fourth). Just three months later, it seems, those three companies have come to an agreement and made an important announcement.
On June 14, 2022, Cardo Systems, Midland, and UClear jointly announced the creation of the new Open Bluetooth Intercom industry-wide standard. This, the three say, will help to foster a much better user experience for riders with any of their Bluetooth communications units, so they can all communicate with each other. (I mean, isn’t that what Bluetooth communicators were supposed to be about in the first place?)
Bluetooth communicators can be great if you’re out riding with one or more buddies, because there’s no more worrying whether the rider behind you saw your turn (or hand) signal. It’s also easier to warn about road hazards, or anything else your fellow riders might need to know about on the road ahead. None of that works if you can’t get your Sena to pair with your buddy’s Cardo, though.
Speaking of which, you’ll note that Sena isn’t part of the group that signed onto this standard. It’s unclear whether the company may adopt it in the future, or if it will stick to maintaining its own ecosystem—though the latter seems likely. While Cardo, Midland, and UClear may have wanted the word “universal” to really mean “universal,” it’s not certain whether that will actually happen. Still, the more Bluetooth communications manufacturers that are on board with this thing, the better the experience will hopefully be for riders.
"Having just launched our 'Universal Communication Solution', the announcement of our 'Open Bluetooth Intercom' further cements our commitment to providing motorcyclists with the best solutions to communicate while riding. The new partnership will enable riders to fully enjoy seamless Bluetooth intercom connectivity across the brands and will further foster the penetration of communication solutions among riders world-wide,” Cardo VP of business development Shachar Harari said in a statement.
We look forward to seeing how this new standard enables better communication between comms units from different brands in the future. After all, riders have a lot of opinions on just about everything—so now, you may not have to agree with your buddies on one communications ecosystem or another in order to chat while you ride.