I had a chance to play with Mitel’s latest creation the Navigator… It is a sleek, silver device that is designed to fit neatly under a flat screen (or other monitor). It is much nicer than other traditional corporate telecom devices… Not as nice as something from Bang & Olufsen but better design than 90% of IT equipment you will see in an office.
Photo 1: Mitel Navigator
So what is the device? A telephone replacement. You see if you take the functions of a telephone… The primary ones anyway – you know the keypad, speakers, microphone, etc and were to integrate them with your computer monitor, voila, you would have the Mitel Navigator.
What is interesting about the device is the 9 programmable keys that can be used for a variety of applications and functions from telephony to computer. You can access the buttons via the Navigator keypad or a mouse. Perhaps most intriguing is the ability to use the device to play music from the computer and have the music stop when a call is initiated or received.
Photo 2: Mitel Navigator With Screen
The device works with Mitel phone systems and another SIP Navigator will work with other phone manufacturers. It will be competitively priced and according to Mitel will really eliminate the need to spend a fortune on a color screen phone from other PBX companies.
The downside to the product is screen clutter. I have been using two 19” monitors for the last nine months or so and it is my way of dealing with the problem of having so many apps open simultaneously (coupled with eyes that aren’t quite as good as they once were).
Pricing will be competitive according to Mitel’s Simon Gwatkin.
WiFi Desk Phone
Anther interesting device thy have designed is a WiFi desk phone. What I mean by this is a phone that is like a standard desk phone you would see anywhere but with an antenna coming out of it. It has a dual function meaning when it is deployed in a company, it uses VoIP over WiFi otherwise known as WiFi telephony to communicate. You just need to power it. If you plug a computer into it, it acts as a NIC card meaning it is an access point as well. It is the perfect phone for retail applications for example. Mitel is looking for feedback on the device.