Today, I read a very interesting post on MacUser about an up and coming Shype wireless phone to be made by Belkin. For those who aren’t familiar, Skype is a free and popular program made for the PC or Mac. Skype is similar to AIM or Yahoo Messenger in that it allows you to add friends (who also have Skype) to a ‘buddy list’, however this service is made to talk to people – not type. What makes skype even more appealing is that it even allows you to make phone calls from your PC or Mac to any landline or cellular phone in the world (after, of course, you pay ahead for SkypeOut minutes.) If you have seen the commercials for Vonage, it is a similar service, known as VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocal.) Manufactorers have begun to market and sell phones that appear like any household wireless phone, but instead of connecting to a phone line, it is made to connect to your computer via one of your USB ports. What is even nicer is that Skype is running a deal from now until the end of the year that will allow its users to call any phone within the U.S. or Canada for FREE. How cool is that? Very.
This week Skype announced a new up and coming ‘Wi-Fi phone.’ This cell-phone looking phone will not need a USB to hook up to your computer, in fact, it wont even need a computer. Anywhere you are within free wireless internet access – your home, the cafe’, airport, hotel – you can use the phone and call via your skype account. Since some hotels and coffee houses require you to enter in a code and/or pay to recieve their wireless connection, I am not sure how the phone will respond. Belkin, a manufactorer of many iPod accessories, speakers, and USB phones, is producing this phone that is slated for an August debut.