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.
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.