Tech Tuesday: Logi Zero Touch

Logitech brings hands-free to a new level.

Logitech is tackling the way you handle your phone in your car...by helping you not have to handle it at all. Enter the Logi ZeroTouch car mount and app ecosystem, an Android-based (for now) solution with the purpose of making your in-car smartphone use truly hands free.

 

Logitech's approach to the ever-increasing problem of using your phone while driving is built off of a foundation of a thoughtfully designed car mount. Logitech's offerings come in two different flavors, one mount suctions to your car and the other grips onto your dashboard's air vents. Both employ strong magnets to keep your phone securely in place, whether you're driving off-road or through the pothole-laden mess that is NYC's boroughs. We tested the air vent version but imagine that both function identically. Magnet mounting your phone to the dash, via the built-in magnets used for wireless charging like the ones in many of Samsung's smartphones or the included stick-on metal plates, automatically kick in the phone's bluetooth and start up Logitech's free hands-free app.

 

From here, Logitech's app acts as an overlay on your phone's UI, allowing you to use your voice to control integral aspects of your phone's comms, nav and entertainment systems. We are happy to report that Logitech's voice recognition was quite good throughout our testing without too much of the fuss or annoyance of bad commands doing things we didn't want or having to repeat ourselves ad nauseum. The Zero Touch system really did require zero touches as we initiated phone calls, responded to text messages, input navigation destinations and control music. We were equally impressed by Logitech's ability to play nice with many third-party apps like Waze and I Heart Radio and Facebook Messenger. It's something that we've looked for in other voice control systems and were disappointed not to find.

 

The overall Logi ZeroTouch system delivers on all of its promises but does have a few shortcomings. The air vent option is a simple, elegant solution...until winter strikes and the hot air blowing from your dash overheats your phone. Third-party app voice support works quite well but messages can only be initiated in the native messages app. If you'd like to message with WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger then the other person will have to text first since you can only voice reply to in third party messengers. These are small misgivings about an overall great system that we hope to see ported to iOS sometime soon. Logitech has stated that they are indeed working on a version for iPhone. With the vent version retailing at $59.99 and the dash mount version going for $79.99, we haven't seen a smarter approach to hands-free than Logi's ZeroTouch, regardless of whether you're rocking a brand new ride or an old hoopty.

 


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