Try It! Jupiter Jack

10:34 AM, Jul 28, 2010   |    comments
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GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WUSA) -- At I Drive Smart in Gaithersburg, former and current Montgomery County crime fighters spend time showing new drivers the rules of the road. Today's lesson: parallel parking.

"Straighten your wheels, back, back, back."

Officer Beverly Then tells her students that driving and talking on the phone don't mix.

"The less distraction, the better," says Beverly.

But she agreed to give the Jupiter Jack a try.

"It's supposed to be the most convenient, hands-free device for any cell phone. No plugs, no wires, no hands. We'll see."

Here's how it works. You plug the jack into any phone.

"It's illuminated."

Tune the radio to 99.3 and the speakers in your care are supposed to surround you with sound from the phone.

"Hi, Tom."


Officer Tom Pecorino, who runs the school, is on the line. We had to move the phone around to hear him clearly.


"What if we drive with it?"

"What if we drive with it?"
We take the car for a few turns around the parking lot.

"You raise the volume ... then that improves me hearing you."

"I can hear you more clearly now."

Jupiter Jack compares itself to a Bluetooth device. But...

"You sound more like you are on speaker phone, rather than having the phone right up against your mouth," says Pecorino.

The instructions say you should mount the phone on the dash, but when we put it close to the dash, all we heard was static.

"Woah... and you see if you move the phone, you get a lot of static and interference."

Our instructor is concerned that drivers would have to keep moving the device around to hear clearly and take their eyes off the road.

"I am not sure how convenient that is."

But our officer says the device does work. So, would she try it again?

"I would definitely try it again."

Again, the officers say there is no such thing as a "safe" hands-free device. But, if you have to use one, pull over to make your call.

Written by Lesli Foster

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