The phone is dead, long live the phone

by Andy Polaine on March 16, 2005

Free Internet telephony that just works. Skype.com

So, the telcos are still banging on about how voice over IP (VOIP) won’t affect their business or that it will and it’s unfair (poor darlings). Yet Skype’s continual rise and the addition of SkypeIN numbers (so you can be called via a normal phone as well as calling to them with SkypeOUT) says different.

There’s quite a bit over on SkypeJournal about the shift back to using normal phone handsets plugged into your router/PC. It’s obviously the way to go because it really does feel weird talking into a PC – everyone seems to be able to do the speaking aloud thing on Star Trek okay, but I still find it odd. There’s an intimacy with a handset that you don’t get with speakerphone or headset I think.

Andy Bryant gives a review of his rapidBox and Riaan gives a great rundown of his (terribly named) Actiontec Internet Phone Wizard. One big gripe is that they all seem to be PC-based, so someone bring out a Mac one please (though I suppose I can bypass the machine all together).

Also, I want a mobile that just hooks into the VOIP network when I’m in range and the GSM one when I’m out and about. Anyone know if one exists? Surely one handset is the way to go these days.

There’s a market here for more retro phone VOIP handsets/headsets rather like Nik Roope’s fabulous Pokia headsets/handsets. Get cracking Nik.

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