Is the humble home phone headed the way of the dodo? Jeremy Bogan doesn't think so, which is why he has created the vtalk desk phone with the goal of bringing smartphone-like features to a device that stays put in the home of the user. Are home phones losing traction because smartphones offer so much, or because they have not evolved in terms of features? Bogan believes it's the latter.
The goal with the vtalk desk phone is to bring the interface and features users are accustomed to with smartphones to a desk. This means it has functions like contacts, a calendar, and instant messaging with text. It also features traditional desk phone features like the ability to place calls on hold and transfer them to other lines.
The vtalk also has another thing we're used to seeing with smartphones – a long list of hardware specifications. To start with, there is an 8.9 inch touchscreen with 1920 x 1080 resolution. It has a Quad Core NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU with 2 GB RAM and packs 16 GB of internal storage. It can also connect to a home network via Wi-Fi or Ethernet. Essentially, the base unit is a tablet, but with some additional features.
There is also a handset, which works more like a traditional phone. It has a 400 ft (120 m) range over 2.4Ghz. Like the base station, there are no buttons, and the user interacts with it via a multi-touch display. It features a 24 hour talk time battery with about a week of standby time.
The company is seeking funding for its phone on Kickstarter and is still a ways off from its AUD$250,000 (US$234,000) goal, but it still has plenty of time left in the funding period. A single device is available for AUD$199 (US$186), while AUD$300 (US$280) is the minimum pledge for a developer edition while the early bird specials last. Packages continue to go up from there for more devices.
With the early launch through crowdfunding, the main goal for the company is getting the device into the hands of developers so they can build apps that expand the functionality of the device. The prototype is running a modified version of Android 4.2.
The Kickstarter pitch below provides more information and shows users interacting with the device for the first time.