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How Handy

Free up your hands with an adapter that streams calls and tunes through your car speakers.

As state legislatures continue to crack down on talking while driving, a hands-free solution like the new Venturi Mini is a must for entrepreneurs who can't afford to let drive time turn into downtime. This small, $129 accessory will wirelessly stream both phone calls and your MP3 oldies-but-goodies over your car stereo from any cell phone that plays music and supports stereo A2DP Bluetooth streaming.

According to U.S. Census data, the average American spends 100 hours per year commuting--a whole workweek for an entrepreneur. And that's an average! Los Angeles and New York City commuters: You don't want to know how much time you spend in gridlock. Entrepreneurs can't afford to waste those hours--and your customers and colleagues won't let you, anyway. Cell phones mean you can't hide in cars and taxis anymore; they've become our office annexes.

Factory built-ins like Microsoft's Sync enable us to chat hands-free. But of course, you have to buy a car to get one. Venturi Mini is a cheaper, aftermarket solution that you can easily move from one car to another. You can download your phone book to it and use your phone's voice dialing.

To install, you simply plug it in to your car's cigarette lighter or AC socket, tune its dial to an unused FM frequency on your radio and register it with your phone's Bluetooth pairing function. After that, Venturi Mini and your phone will sync every time you start your car, even if you leave your phone in your pocket. The Mini will hold the handshake for up to four phones or MP3 players and will recharge a variety of small devices via its USB port using a $25 multipronged adapter.

The Mini interrupts the music for incoming calls but displays caller ID so you can decide whether to take the call or let it roll over to voice mail. The music resumes when you press the Mini's "hang up" button.

Venturi Mini is available on the NextGen Venturi and Verizon Wireless websites.

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This article was originally published in the May 2008 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: How Handy.

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