VoIP Gizmos @ CES

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.


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