Skype Video Phone

The future is now people!  It finally happened.  A company has come out with a video phone that you can use to make free video phone calls.

Here is a demo.

It looks like you can make Skype to Skype voice calls as well as video calls.  The other person doesn’t have to have this device as long as they have Skype on their computer and a webcam.  And I saw on the demo that you can also make calls to landlines and cell phones.

It either plugs into your DSL/Cable router or you can use it via your WiFi connection at home.  It comes with a battery so maybe you can take it with you when you are on vacation and your hotel has WiFi access.

It does have a hefty price tag on it.  $299.95 but I’m sure in time that price will most likely go down.  It may have a small screen, 800×480 Pixel 7” TFT-LCD, but what are you expecting?  If you are using Skype to make video calls on your computer you will know that it’s 320×240 which is way smaller than this gadget.  And it has headphone jack so you can have a more private conversation.

Just think what you could do with this.  You could connect with friends and family and not just talk to them on the phone but actually see their faces too and if you hate to travel for business it could be used for meetings.

Since it’s a free video call what would be really cool is to call someone on their video phone at Christmas time and just have it running and have the camera looking at the kids who are opening presents.  This way the people who couldn’t come can watch the kids playing.  And whenever someone wants to come say hi to the person on video phone then they can walk over to it.

You can sit it on the dining room table and be eating while the person on the other side is also eating.  This way you will be sharing a meal.  The possibilities are endless.

Skype Vs. Vonage

I’ve been seeing these commercials for Vonage constantly on tv about how they are better than the telephone company because they only charge you $30 per month and you use your current internet connection to connect to your phone service.

What about Skype?  Skype has phone service that works with your WiFi connection and it’s only $2.95 a month.  Since it works with your WiFi connection at home you can also use it at WiFi hotspots like the cloud (whatever that is) and t-mobile hotspots. They have a USB phone, 2 WiFi phones, even a video phone. You can call anyone who uses Skype for free if you only want to call other Skype users.  Or you can also call landlines and cell phones for $2.95 per month.  You get a phone number that only costs $30 per year.  Their best phone is the black WiFi phone that is on sale right now for $129.99.

They have a phone that is currently only in europe right now that uses the 3G network but I guess you can use it like a cell phone because you can make a call anywhere, you aren’t limited to WiFi hotspots like the ones I just talked about in the above paragraph.  I look forward to that coming to the states.

Right now I use Skype on my PSP to make phone calls.  I don’t have a phone number for it but I do have the option and since I am signed up with their unlimited calls to US and Canada they have given me a $30 coupon for a phone number for 1 year.  I don’t want to use it for my PSP because I won’t have it turned on long enough to receive phone calls.

Personally, if I had to choose between Vonage and Skype, I’d choose Skype, especially if I was on a budget.  Also I can take my Skype WiFi phone with me wherever I go because it will work wherever there is a hotspot like Starbucks, McDonald’s, Hotels, Airports, your friends and relatives houses etc.  With Vonage you are limited to only being able to use it at home.

Edit:  Ok I was looking at the Skype phone on their website and was watching a video (take a tour) and it was saying “for just pennies a minute”.  So maybe you have to do the Skype as you go or I don’t know, maybe it works with the monthly subscription.  The only way to know for sure is to get the service and find out I guess.  Skype as you go gives you a bit more freedom to be able to call other countries if you have to call people who are in another country and you only pay a few cents to about 20 cents a minute depending where you are calling.