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Summary:

Update #2: The service is live now Update: The service is still not publicly available and is protected right now. Don’t try your Gizmo username or password – this is a seperate combo, which only company officials are privy to. More updates to follow. SIPphone, the […]

Update #2: The service is live now

Update: The service is still not publicly available and is protected right now. Don’t try your Gizmo username or password – this is a seperate combo, which only company officials are privy to. More updates to follow.

SIPphone, the company behind Gizmo Project has introduced a new product, Gizmo Call that make is fairly simple to make VoIP calls from any browser that can support Adobe’s Flash.

You can visit Gizmocall.com, and you are prompted to download a small plugin, which is available for both Windows and Mac computers. We had reported on this development back in December 2006.

From a usability standpoint, this one gets a big thumbs up from me. After installing this tiny plugin, you are given a screen that is pretty much a Flash-based replica of the Gizmo Project soft client. (More on Flash & VoIP.)

The client auto configures your system, and uses the built in audio and video hardware of a computer to make phones calls. It easily found my Plantronics bluetooth headset, and used the MacBook Pro’s internal video camera for video calling.

You can call anyone who has either a Google Talk client or a Gizmo ID. Of course you can connect to PSTN numbers as well, by typing in the number you wish to connect to. Gizmo has also created a little embeddeable link which you can copy and paste in your blog, or on your MySpace page. People can call you by clicking on that button. You can embed the link in your emails as well. Its like SkypeMe, except you don’t need to launch a new application, but instead you use the web browser.

By launching this new browser based calling service, SIPphone is ensuring that it is staying current with newer rivals such as Jajah, Jaxtr, Wengo (Disclosure: Wengo is an advertiser on GigaOM Network) who are using widgets to popularize their services.

With no desktop client software to download, Gizmo & SIPphone are betting that there will be further interest in their low cost phone service. While my mother is grateful for these low cost services, I still remain skeptical of a business model that is reliant on low price as a business tool.

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  1. Om, what’s going on? I try to go to http://www.gizmocall.com/ and it does not open. Instead it wants a login and password from me. I put in my login data for the Gizmo Project and nothing happens. It will not let me in. Maybe you are too early with the revelation of Gizmo Call, so that they have to hide it now. Maybe it’s not yet finished?

    A service like this is definitely necessary for my friends abroad. They love to call me for free, using the Gizmo Project. Only that they mess up their system regularily and cannot call me then, until I visit them to fix it. If the Gizmo Project software is embedded in a website they cannot mess it up. Great idea!

  2. Sadly it seems GizmoCall is not out of beta (or maybe just alpha). The appear to have implemented user authentication on the site to stop the un-washed masses from testing this out.

  3. Making a call from the web browser sounds cool.

  4. Why didn’t Skype take this route? They could have built a bad ass web-app instead of a desktop application. Perhaps there is some sort of limitation?

  5. Neville Hobson Monday, January 29, 2007

    A post in the new Gizmo Call user forum says -

    “The site is currently password protected until Monday afternoon — the official release. If you are a Freespire/Linspire Insider, you can obtain the password from their forum. If not, just hang out for a couple more days.”

    Very long URL to the post; you can find it from here – http://forum.gizmoproject.com/

  6. They were supposed to launch this on Monday, but I guess it is later today. Anyway it is good enough to revisit the site.

  7. Now the GIZMOCALL website is finally open for everyone, but it does not work for me as a Linux user. I just got this comment on my screen:

    Gizmo Call does not yet work on Linux computers. We like Linux and we use Linux and we’re going to make Gizmo Call work for Linux. Adobe just recently released Flash 9 for Linux which Gizmo Call requires which is why we have been delayed in releasing Linux support for Gizmo Call. You may want to try the Linux version of Gizmo Project available at http://gizmoproject.com which works on most Linux distributions. You can also try the Nokia n800 Linux tablet which runs Linux and Gizmo Project. Go Linux!!

    1.) Now I am booting my wife’s Windows machine.

    2.) The Gizmocall website requires me to download a plugin.

    3.) Now I am trying to call my German mobile phone. For quite a long time it says “Waiting for the Flash plugin”. So I better shut down Firefox and open it again.

    4.) OK, after the restart it looks different, because of the loaded plugin I suppose.

    5.) Dammit! Again it wants me to install the plugin. Maybe last time it did not work because I had no administrator rights. But it said “setup complete” to me during the installation process. Will change into Admin mode now.

    6.) Yes, you have to be Admin if you do it for the first time. The Flash player asks me for permition to use my microphone.

    7.) Now it is already the 3rd time I have to install the plugin. Will try it now with Microsoft Internet Explorer.

    8.) It always says “Waiting for the Flash Plugin”. Yet it is the 4th time that I have to (re-)install it.

    9.) I will reboot the Windows PC now. I could not make any phone call still. Not even to a landline. The Flash website does not let me put in the phone number.

    10.) Hopefully after the reboot it will be better.

    11.) Oh my god! The reboot takes very long. Hopefully Gizmo did not screw my system? Malware?

    :)

    12.) OK, my fault. I just switched off instead of reboot. Now the PC is booting again.

    13.) NOW IT WORKS! (mostly)

    14.) RESULTS OF MY FIRST TRIAL

    14.a.) Call to my landline:
    Excellent
    (But why does this eat up my free minutes? This landline is an ENUM number which directs to a SIP adress. Withe the Gizmo Project software I can call it for free. Why not from the Gizmocall website?

    14.b.) Call to my SIP address:
    Great
    (But why does this eat up my free minutes? Calls to SIP adresses must be free!)

    14.c.) Call to my mobile:
    Bad
    (Eats up my free minutes but my mobile phone does never ring. Why this?)

    15.) MY OPINION:

    Summing it all up: Great service! Can be a Jajah killer. Reminds me of Ageet (http://www.ageet.com/us/agephone/webobject.htm) and their smallest software PBX, which actually is a ActiveX plugin. But Gizmocall does not work only with Internet Explorer. And also it is free to everyone, unliky Ageet which is only being sold to companies.

    Great work! (After all the first time user hassle I had to suffer.)

  8. VoIP Monitor .net Monday, January 29, 2007

    Gizmo Project rolls out GizmoCall, Bloggers Chime In…

  9. Digital Tech News Monday, January 29, 2007

    Gizmo Call – The new Browser-based Voip calling Service…

    GigaOm reports that SIPphone is introducing a new product called Gizmo Call that will enable users to make VoIP calls from any browser that supports Flash. I use Gizmo Project to make Voip calls on my Nokia 770, and it…

  10. I’m a little confused here, Om. Does it use Flash or does it require a (different) plugin?

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