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USRobotics Intros Skype-Certified VoIP Speakerphone
[January 05, 2006]

USRobotics Intros Skype-Certified VoIP Speakerphone

TMCnet VoIP Minute Watch Columnist
Internet access product manufacturer USRobotics announced on Thursday its introduction of the USR9610, a Skype-certified USB Internet Speakerphone. The device is the newest in the company's family of Skype-certified products, which also includes the USR9600, a USB Internet handset. The speakerphone will be available through resellers later this month and is priced at $49.99 (MSRP).

"The speakerphone demonstrates our commitment to bringing reliable, easy to use products to our customers," says Rizwan Akbar, USRobotics' product manager. "It is simple to install and use, makes Skype Internet calling feel just like traditional telephone calling, and allows users to make free phone calls using their broadband Internet connection."

The USR9610 USB Internet Speakerphone enables users to make Skype calls hands-free. The device allows echo cancellation and features volume and mute buttons and full-duplex operation. The unit's small size and sturdy design allows users to drop it into their laptop bag without fear of damage.
"Compared to other devices on the market today, the USRobotics speakerphone maintains exceptional voice quality in a small, easy to carry unit," says Akbar. "You normally wouldn't expect a speakerphone with this sound quality to be this portable."
USRobotics' spokesperson Gena Mazzeo gave the VoIP Minute Watch a sneak peek at what the company is planning to release during this year's first quarter. It turns out that through its partnership with Skype, USRobotics is planning to introduce a USB voice switch, or double-port ATA adapter, that will enable users to forward Skype calls to cell phones by using an "intelligent routing" technology. The device seems like a must have for VoIP service subscribers in case of a power or Internet access failure.
Skype has made announcements left and right about deals with multiple electronics manufacturers in order to certify headsets, wireless phones, and other VoIP devices so they are compatible with Skype's Internet telephony service.
Aliph introduced the Skype-certified Jawbone PC Edition VoIP communications headset today. The device integrates Aliph's military-grade audio processing and product design to eliminate background noise. The device has a metal outer edge that protects the internal electronics, while the inside surface is made of medical-grade plastic to provide a comfortable, soft, and smooth feel on the skin. Jawbone's docking and storage mechanism allows it to fit in a user's pocket enabling better portability.
Skype announced a partnership with Philips Electronics yesterday to introduce a new Internet phone, the VoIP321. The new cordless phone has dual functionality so consumers can make free Skype calls, as well as ordinary landline calls. The Internet phone operates on Digitally Enhanced Cordless Telephone (DECT) technology. This technology enhances the sound and security available in a cordless phone.
The VoIP service provider also made news yesterday when it teamed up with NETGEAR Inc to develop a suite of new products, including the world's first Skype wireless mobile telephone and a router equipped to optimize Skype. NETGEAR's Skype WiFi phone will work wherever a consumer is connected to a wireless Internet access point, be that in a home, office, cafe, open public hotspot, or any open municipal wireless access point being deployed worldwide. The NETGEAR phone is pre-loaded with Skype’s software, ready out-of-the-box to use with a wireless network. Pricing and availability info for the Skype WiFi phone will be released during this year's first quarter.
Skype Technologies, S.A.
Johanne Torres is contributing editor for TMCnet and Internet Telephony magazine. To see more articles by Johanne Torres, please visit Johanne Torres' columnist page

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