Phones and Skype

October 7, 2003

in Accelerating Innovation

One of the things that many users hate is putting on the headset to use Skype. When will you be using a real telephone with Skype? It may not be long. I’ve had Skypers call me using telephone handsets. I bet it changes the experience for them. So if you are uncomfortable using a headset and losing your media player then these solutions may interest you. If you are using these already. Please leave your comments. Others will appreciate the wisdom that comes from use!

There are different ways to attach a phone to your computer. Add a phone and the computer just becomes another gateway to the phone system. I’ve seen these examples on the web and have a few parts on order. In some cases the cost will have to come down. However $15-25 for a headset vs $50- $75 for a phone may just make Skype a little more natural for many.

Connecting your Cordless Home Phone to Skype:Take a look at this product. A USB to RJ11 (phone jack) with innards by TigerJet

The benefits of this USB connection is the additional sound card; thus you can use the phone while your child continues to use the PC for homework or playing music. I’m waiting to try this with Skype set on automatic answer and an answerphone connected which answers on the first ring. Has anyone tried this?

Buy a USB enabled VoIP phone. If you don’t have an old fax or extra cordless laying around this phone the USB phone is separate from your desktop music system. Thus the phone can ring. No need to plug in the headset which you couldn’t hear ringing in the other room. Like the solution above the numerical dial pad currently means nothing with Skype. Maybe in time those “tones” will enable short code dialing to Skype friends. Simply first two or three digits. of a persons name should do it. #788 – Ring Stu…

USB phone.jpg

It’s not alone; See this Claris i750 review. There are many more much more expensive. Most are linked to corporate VoIP applications. See this listing and take a look at this Innovative Wireless IP Phone with Integrated Voice and Internet Network through IEEE 802.

There are other low cost solutions in the works. Similarly some bluetooth solutions with newer cellphones will enable you to answer these calls when in range. This may just be becoming a very interesting category.

If you are interested in thinking further about how to share or use Skype to dial locally or internationally it may just be closer than you think. Check out this Personal Dialing Gateway product. For example if I install it in a friendly computer in New Zealand. All my calls from any Internet gateway in the world to New Zealand and that calling area are free (of course I must have internet access.)

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