Ever wondered if you could take all the best features of your cell phone, and the reliable low cost benefits of a landline and roll them all into one? Wonder no longer, Verizon’s new Hub Phone is finally going to be seeing the light of day and will soon find itself integrated into home networks and communications systems.
For those of you lucky enough to have worked in a company that is pushing out VoIP phones, you may already be familiar with being able to get any number of features such as weather info, text messages, or calendar updates, right from your phone. The Hub phone, takes all of those nifty features and rolls them into a nice neat home user experience. Think of it as something right out of Star Trek, with color touch screen displays and information at your fingertips.
While this is still technically a pre release phone and as such some of this information may change or be complemented with other information, the Hub phone is already starting to offer up a nice suite of features. Contact and calendar information can be synced up from your computer, combined further with available text messaging, creating a home unified communications setup. This is handy for keeping all your address, phone, and e-mail information both accurate and available from multiple devices. The Hub phone also offers weather, driving and traffic information right from your finger tips. How often have you wanted to check the weather real quickly, but found the computer or television tied up and unavailable? Yes, one can always stick their head out the window, but that will not tell you how it’s going to be 6 hours later, or 45 miles away.
Sounds too good to be true you say, must have a huge price tag. Well, actually the Hub Phone seems to be fairly decent, especially compared to what it can do and the presentation. The phone itself costs 200 dollars, after a 50 dollar mail in rebate, so be ready to have a decent amount of upfront cash. Though, compared to some cell phones, 250 dollars, does not really seem that unreasonable. The real measure of that amount is durability and costs for repair, yet for now that remains to be seen. The subscription fee though is much more reasonable when compared to similar plans. 35 dollars a month, with compared to other VoIP home solutions, such as Vonage, or Time Warner’s Digtial Phone package, which as of right now do not offer the same set of features is a very comparable amount. Finally, the real nice thing here, is that it can connect into any broadband connection, meaning that even if you do not use Verizon FIOS or DSL, you can still try out and make use of the Hub phone.
Will this be the end all answer to phones? No probably not, communication methods are growing all the time, but a success here will only help usher in a new age of digital communications, a new age of unified communications, where a phone number, e-mail, all of that is really one and the same. Like the railroads opened up the ability for populations to spread and merge, so too will more and more advanced communications lower barriers and allow a more global reach.