No More Borders: Comms System Brands Join Forces with New Open Intercom Standard

No More Borders: Comms System Brands Join Forces with New Open Intercom Standard

Talking to your riding friends from the saddle was difficult if you used different communicators. But no more. A new standard is set to revolutionize bike-to-bike communication.

Major wireless comm system manufacturers—including Cardo, Midland, and Uclear—have released a new open, industry-wide standard for Bluetooth communicators. Dubbed the Open Bluetooth Intercom (OBI), this new standard enables seamless, effortless pairing between communicators from different brands.

“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 worldwide,” Shachar Harari, vice president of business development at Cardo, said in a statement.

As riders doubtlessly know, it used to be very difficult to pair communicators from different brands. The devices can suddenly drop connections or forget paired devices. If you do manage to form a connection, you may not be able to use all of your system’s features with the cross-brand pairing.

The OBI is set to eliminate all these problems. The new standard enables all communicators to pair with each other and use their full features, regardless of the device brand. It sets a template for various extensions to the Bluetooth Handsfree Profile designed for direct duplex communications between Bluetooth devices.

“Beyond a more enjoyable experience, having helmet communication devices that now can co-exist with other brands allows riders to chat while riding, point out potential dangers for fellow riders, make phone calls, or listen to music,” the partner companies say.

Thanks to OBI, staying connected to other riders while on the road should become easier than ever. Riding groups no longer have to agree on one communicator brand over others. You can pick your own favorite and use the system to its full potential, no matter what devices your friends prefer.

Although most major communicator brands have signed up for OBI, Sena has opted to stay out of the partnership—at least for the time being. Perhaps in the future the standard will expand to become a truly universal communication solution for riders.