A representative of IPMind came across my VoIP blog entry "Skype Keynote", saw that I "wished" for "a phone product with Skype technology embedded that DOES NOT REQUIRE a PC to be on to work!" and he posted a comment stating that his company has a prototype of a standalone Skype hardware phone.
Details are a bit sketchy at this point, but here is what I know. They have 2 early prototypes enclosed in a telephone shell that can dial to/receive calls from Skype users. For dialing you simply scroll to the desired buddy in the buddy list on the LCD screen (4*20) and you are connected to the buddy. You can also receive incoming calls and the phone will ring when a Skype user calls you.
In addition, they are currently working on finalizing the current design and also working on an ATA (analog telephony adaptor) type device that will connect to a regular analog phone. Wow. Just imagine. You can use your home cordless phone, connect it to their ATA, and then make free Skype calls to other Skype users or make inexpensive SkypeOut calls to PSTN phone numbers.
What I would like to see is an ATA that supports BOTH Skype and a broadband VoIP service provider, such as Vonage, AT&T CallVantage, Lingo, etc. Then using some LCR (least cost routing) algorithm you can optimize your outbound calls for the least expensive termination provider depending on where you are dialing. In addition to that, you can make/receive PSTN phone calls via a broadband VoIP service provider as well as make/receive Skype calls. Now that would be really cool!