Sena employs mesh networking for seamless inter-motorcycle comms
Built on the foundations of the 20S, the 30K introduces a new model family of motorcycle Bluetooth communication systems. With the addition of adaptive mesh networking technology, Sena's new flagship model opts for uninterrupted group connections even when any number of members falls out of range.
The adoption of mesh networking in Bluetooth communicators represents the next logical step in this market, first introduced a few months ago by Cardo Systems' Packtalk. This technology steps in to rectify an inherent problem of Bluetooth networks, the break-ups that occur when a member of the group disconnects.
In such a mesh every connected device acts as a node that can both receive and relay data to the others, in a network that is constantly adapting to the shortest effective grid. Should any part of this network fall out of range (or disconnect for whichever other reason), the rest of the group will remain seamlessly connected as the data stream is immediately rerouted along the remaining active members.
Sena's response to Cardo is the 30K, built on the platform of the current flagship model, the 20S. The new communicator incorporates independent chipsets for Bluetooth 4.1 and mesh networking, each one equipped with its own antenna. The announced range is 1.2 miles (2 km), just like with the 20S.
The water-resistant 30K can support groups of up to 16 members, and enjoys all the perks of the 20S. These include a built-in FM tuner, voice commands, advanced noise control features that filter out wind noise, and audio multitasking – with the mesh networking handling intercom duties, while Bluetooth deals with every other audio input, such as GPS instructions, phone calls or music streaming. Thanks to the Universal Intercom protocol, the 30K will also work with any other Bluetooth headset.
According to Sena, its battery can sustain 13 hours of talking on a full charge, and a quick charge feature is there to save the day by adding four hours of talk time after just 15 minutes on a power outlet.
Together with the 30K, Sena introduced the updated version of its RideConnected smartphone app. Available for both iOS and Android, the application allows the rider to create a private group and communicate via the headset with up to 16 other people that can be anywhere in the world, as long as they have access to a mobile network.
The 30K is expected to hit the markets in mid-2017, retailing for $349 in the US and €379 in Europe.