Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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wireless, WiFi, WiMAX, 3G, 4G, EVDO

New HTC Touch Cruise

January 22, 2009


HTC today announced the HTC Touch Cruise, a mobile phone that is optimized to run as a personal navigation handset with its inbuilt GPS and ability to geotag places you go with a photo and audio notes. The new HTC Touch Cruise is an update to last year's popular HTC Touch Cruise model, but it sports a more compact design and several new features.

Of particular note is HTC Footprints, an application that enables you to chronicle places you visit by capturing "digital postcards" on the phone that includes a 3.2MP photo, along with the ability to attach notes and an audio clip to remind you of the location's significance. Footprints will automatically geotag the specific GPS coordinates, and even auto-names each "postcard" with its general location or area.

The HTC Touch Cruise can also be used as an advanced in-car navigation system.  Just stick it into its car cradle and the HTC Touch Cruise automatically transforms its user interface into an easy-to-use, one-touch interface with turn-by-turn directions.

It sports a decent 2.8 inch QVGA display along with HTC's TouchFLO technology. Because it's only QVGA, tt's not TouchFLO 3D, but rather TouchFLO 2D.  Still, the TouchFLO 2D UI for Windows Mobile 6.1 is an improvement over the regular UI.






Verizon Hub Web browsing VoIP Phone Gadget Coming

January 20, 2009

Back in March 2007 I wrote about Verizon VoiceWing VoIP FiOS service with a brand new phone called Verizon One, sporting a touch-screen, stylus, Internet access, VoIP, and more. It's pictured here:



Well, according to Boy Genius Report, it appears that a new product called the Verizon Hub deskphone is launching and is even in Verizon stores with a "do not open until further instructions order". I looked at the Verizon Hub pictures and it looked identical to the Verizon One. One of my sources told me that the Verizon Hub is the same thing as the Verizon One, but apparently Verizon changed the name to the Verizon Hub deskphone. It's possible it has additional features.



AT&T TL7610 headset review

January 19, 2009

AT&T sent me their new TL7610 DECT 6.0 headset for review last month and I finally got around to writing up the review. My first impressions were very positive. It sported a nice sleek and ergonomic headset base with well-labeled buttons and LEDs for figuring things out without need for the manual. Like the base, the headset piece was also sleek and ergonomic with a slight curve to the microphone piece.

President-Elect Barack Obama's $40 billion <strike>Handout</strike> Bailout to Internet Providers

January 15, 2009

President-Elect Barack Obama is planning to send up to $40 billion in grants and loans bailout funds toward improving broadband availability and speeds as part of broader economic stimulus efforts, according to UBS analysts.

According to Telephony Online:
A draft of the proposed $825-billion economic stimulus bill circulating on Capitol Hill today lists $6 billion for expanding broadband "so businesses in rural and other underserved areas can link up to the global economy," adding that this provision could well aid the job-creation goals of the larger economic stimulus effort.

PC World writes: The money will "strengthen the economy and provide business and job opportunities in every section of America with benefits to e-commerce, education and health-care," a House Appropriations Committee document said. "For every dollar invested in broadband the economy sees a ten-fold return on that investment."

10X the return? I'm not buying it. My BS meter just went off the scale.




Nortel Fights On

January 15, 2009

Nortel - will they or won't they file for bankruptcy? Will they be chopped up into pieces and sold off? All the news these past few months leading to a crescendo of news yesterday stating Nortel is planning to file for bankruptcy. Certainly, all the rumors didn't help their stock any.

D2 Technologies Improves its vPort VoIP Software for Development of Next Generation WiMAX, Femtocell and Mobile Handsets/Devices

January 8, 2009


Some interesting news from D2 Technologies worth sharing. It's worth mentioning that D2 offers the mCUE mobile convergence software solution, which combines a communications user interface with the company's vPort MP VoIP software platform targeting OEMs and service providers to help deliver integrated Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) and Unified Communications (UC) functionality.

Their news today involves WiMAX, femtocells, and fixed mobile convergence (FMC). Many predict (myself included) that 2009 will be the year of WiMAX, FMC, and femtocells. Though I think femtocells won't really getting going until late 2009.

At CES D2 Technologies is announcing a significant upgrade to its flagship embedded VoIP software, vPort, supporting processors from market leaders such as Cavium, Freescale, LSI, Ralink, AMCC, Ikanos and TI for OEMs developing the latest in dual mode and IP phones, CPE communications products and other mobile devices.

Here's the news...

D2's vPort optimizes support for video calls, high definition audio, Windows® CE/Mobile applications and remote security management.

D2 Technologies, the market leader in embedded IP communications software platforms, today announced the next generation of its flagship vPort product line, enabling OEMs and service providers to cost-effectively and quickly deliver to market the most advanced mobile and CPE communications products.










Skype Lite Java client

January 8, 2009

Skype announced Skype Lite for Java-enabled phones, including the Google Android, but it should also work on Windows Mobile with Java installed.

Skype Lite is the first native VoIP client using Java. I guess my prediction of a Flash-based Skype client was a little off. From a technical standpoint Java is better suited to an application than Flash, which is better at multimedia stuff.

In any event, Skype is submitting the app to Google's Android Market today according to Techchuck.

Since Skype Lite is Java-based, it should work on several mobile phone brands, including Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Motorola, and others. Don't expect the full-fledged features of the regular client though. Even the native Windows Mobile Skype client will have more features than the Java version.





Truphone Adds Skype Features, Twitter, MSN Messenger, and more

January 5, 2009

Truphone has added a new Skype feature that will allow iPhone and iPod Touch users to make calls and instant message other Skype users.  This new feature is scheduled to go live to consumers the week of Jan. 12, but it's available for a select few media that inquire. I'm going to try it very shortly.

You now will have the ability to make and receive Skype calls and instant message Skype users from your iPhone or iPod touch. Truphone customers on both Apple devices can contact their Skype friends via their Skype IDs.







Apple Large screen iPod Touch in Future Plus Skype & Apple Partnership?

December 31, 2008


According to Techcrunch, we can soon expect to see a 7" or 9" iPod touch, which would make it more akin to a tablet PC than a portable music & video player with app support. The app support is a key point here. One of the problems with the iPod touch and similarly the iPhone is the relatively small screen. Sure, it's bigger than most portable devices, but it's still not quite large enough for optimal productivity.

The State of Nortel

December 22, 2008

Rich has an excellent piece on Nortel where he talks to Nortel's President of Carrier Networks' Richard Lowe and Bruce Gustafson, Director of Marcom, Carrier Networks. With all the bad news surrounding Nortel it's interesting to get a perspective of Nortel from the horse's mouth. Of course, Nortel's job or any company for that matter is to try and spin things in a positive light.

However, reading the article it seems that Nortel was fairly open about their current status and the direction they are taking. For instance, Rich's article states, "He did say a large number of carriers are slowing their spending in CDMA...

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