Verizon has partnered with OpenPeak
to create a new all-in-one voice, data, and video center for the home riding on top of Verizon's FiOS (fiber) service along with Ethernet and WiFi capabilities. Dubbed the Verizon
One, this all-in-one communications device will allow users to make VoIP phone calls, access email, search the web, view a calendar, stream music from the web, and even preview images from a digital camera.
Here's a photo of the Verizon One:
Unfortunately, the Web browsing experience is tad limited, since you can only get specific Web content that Verizon has enabled. Some of the approved web content includes categories such as news, weather, and movie listings. But if you try and browse a site not listed, you're out of luck. I'm sure Verizon's thinking was to make the user-interface as user-friendly as possible and perhaps they specifically targetted certain websites that render well on the small screen. Or perhaps Verizon doesn't want people going to Yahoo!
Yellow Pages and bypassing Verizon's 411 directory assistance at $1.75 a pop! (not sure exact figure). But I'm sure there plan is to find partners and advertisers for the Verizon One device. Still a neat little gadget even if they do "lock" down the browsing experience.
The Verizon One will handle regular phone calls, but it was designed for VoIP. The cordless phone, which doesn't look nearly as "cool" as the rest of the device, will work with Verizon's upcoming VoiceWing VoIP service for FiOS. VoiceWing, Verizon's VoIP service, will become part of the FiOS services before the end of this year. Also, the latest Verizon One device runs Media Manager, the FiOS application that manages and routes all of your multmedia content - video, data, music, and photos to networked TVs, set-top boxes, and PCs. According to Verizon, the new device will accommodate both traditional and VoIP phone calls, while also feature streaming music from the Internet to be replayed over attached stereo speakers and previewing images or video from digital cameras or camcorders. It will also play movie trailers from the Internet, connect to a printer and support a total of up to five handsets throughout the home.
The next generation of services will be available through a combined, built-in WiFi and Ethernet connection to allow access to Internet-based content. Multiple USB ports will be added to accommodate the peripheral devices. Software developed by Verizon will seamlessly connect telephone and online functions to the new device, which can be located any place in the customer's home where there is access to a phone jack and an electrical outlet.
Too bad Verizon didn't integrate a home alarm system into the device, perhaps using the X10 home automation protocol
, since it could send an email or SMS alert to your cell phone. Speaking of protocols, currently Verizon One doesn't support the popular TR-069 remote management standard
, but they're working on it. All-in-all, the Verizon One device used in conjunction with Verizon FiOS is shaping up to be one very cool service. Now, I have only one thing to add - when the heck can I get this service in my area, damn it!