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Summary:

One of the big trend at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas will release of a ton of VoIP related gizmos. There is a healthy mix of headsets, hand-units and speakerphones, and USB-adaptors for VoIP users. The most attractive for Mac users will be the […]

One of the big trend at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas will release of a ton of VoIP related gizmos. There is a healthy mix of headsets, hand-units and speakerphones, and USB-adaptors for VoIP users. The most attractive for Mac users will be the Ipevo’s handset I wrote about earlier, and a new Xing speakerphone. Those are only part of a whole slew of products coming from Skype-partners.

For those of you who want a standalone Skype phone, Creative Labs will launch a Creative Skype Internet PhonePLUS that enables Skype calls over the Internet without a PC connection (connects direct to a router.) D-Link is rolling out a Skype USB Phone Adapter (DPH-50U) that allows you to use Skype over a traditional phone. Panasonic is introducing a new cordless telephone product that interfaces directly with Skype, allowing users to make and receive Skype calls and traditional calls using the same device. Panasonic infact is getting pretty serious about the whole VoIP space.


In addition to the Skype phone, they are also introducing a broadband cordless phone system, pre-configured with Vonage’s service. As I had predicted earlier, say good bye to ATAs. Keep an eye on Netgear that is showcasing wireless routers to enable VoIP broadband phone service, and will be demonstrating new products for VoIP communications planned for 2006 release, including devices designed for Skype.

I have saved the best for the last: Jawbone, which impressed every mobile user, is now moving to the PC space, with a brand new Jawbone PC Edition, an intelligent headset for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) communications. I have been using this device for nearly a week, and well, it is just awesome. They say it is optimized for Windows, but with the help of a Plantronics Mic & Headphone USB adapter I managed to use it on my Powerbook 15. It virtually eliminates all background noise for crystal-clear voice especially when you are at Ritual Roasters, which has a really loud grinder. Now all Aliph, the maker of Jawbone has to do is make a bluetooth version of the device, and we are good to go.

  1. Sanjay Kalluparambil Tuesday, January 3, 2006

    Any news on SIP adaptors. I use Skype but am planning to get a SIP Phone adaptor. My assumption is that if I get one now, I could possibly talk to the other SIP complaint phones, Gizmo users and even Google Talk users in the future. Moreover, the adaptors do not need a computer and I can take calls on my cordless phone. Very good idea when calling long distance to India.

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  2. sanjay, there is phone gnome which is awesome … there are some standard adapters. let me check and post the details.

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  3. That new IPEVO Fly 1 wireless Skype phone looks really cool. And it works with Mac. :)

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  4. It’s great to see all of these new VOIP products, but I hate that a lot of them are proprietary (aka, “Skype phones”). Feels like you might end up buying a future Betamax.

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  5. Betamax was only a big deal because back then VCRs cost > $500. Even then, most people still got about 3 years of useful life out of them before everything went VHS. Who cares if your $100 gizmo only lasts a year or two?

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  6. My beef is not with cost. It’s with non-interoperability.

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  7. Jesse Kopelman Thursday, January 5, 2006

    Why is interoperability important? Many consumer devices are not. Your DVD player doesn’t play cassets, 8-tracks, or LPs, let alone the forthcoming high definition DVDs. Your car does not run on hydrogen or compressed natural gas. The question is whether a thing does what it does well enough to justify its price. If you use Skype a lot, a device that only works with Skype will suite you fine. If you stop using Skype, then you buy something else. It’s like PCs — you are probably better off buying a new $1,000 PC every year than holding on to a $3,000 PC for 3 years.

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  8. come on jesse, you gotta be kidding me. does cassette player say… oh i am phillips so i will play only phillips cassettes. i am pretty certain, that’s the idea here. interoperablity is important because unlike the devices or PCs you mention, communications is a social activity.

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  9. Jesse Kopelman Thursday, January 5, 2006

    The interoperability in communications comes from the service you use, not the device. It is not the Skype phone that prevents you from calling certain people for free, but Skype itself. If you don’t want to use Skype don’t buy a Skype phone. If you change your mind down the road have you really lost that much because you have to buy a new phone? Again, if it cost a lot of money that would be one thing, but we are talking less than a bottle of Blue Label here.

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  10. [...] You can walk into Radio Shack and look hard for the much vaunted Skype kit; you can go to Fry’s and assaulted by scores of phones and networking products that work with either one phone service or the other. An ATA for Vonage, another one for AT&T and on and on. All these choices, that work with one service at a time. Time to switch? Well, perhaps its time to go and buy more gear. Dano is right…every VoIP is a silo! [...]

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