The Future Desk Phone Will Be a Tablet
But what about the trusty desk phone? I predict some PC commodity hardware will ultimately be the hardware that runs your future deskphone. Don't get me wrong--I'm a big proponent of pressing buttons to do stuff. (hey, I still have a blackberry form factor phone so I have a keyboard! Actually since writing this I got a Windows Phone 7--no buttons ;-) But the writing is on the wall--
-people are getting used to touch screen dialing
-built in web cam and nice big screen for video conferencing
-choice of which softphone you use
-built in support for blue tooth headsets
-wireless and a battery is built in so you basically have a deskphone AND portable phone in one
-wired headset port is built in
-easily integrate & network tablet and desktop pc for call control senarios
-low power and high processor (for things like rtaudio?) has been worked out by the tablet guys already
Another reason is that if you notice even in more traditional form factor deskphones the screens keep getting bigger and bigger and the buttons are starting to disappear!
Currently even the latest models of exotic desk phone integration to the desktop is clunky at best. What if you could seamlessly launch music on your tablet-desktphone while not in use? (win7 ability) What if you could trigger a video call on your tablet-deskphone from your PC or mobile phone? Or use the tablet-deskphone as a home automation terminal? Truly, the best deskphones now are looking more and more like a tablet PC--just at a much higher price?
Tablet formfactor machines are getting soo cheap. Cherrypal suggested a tablet pc for $188.
So software SIP phone makers--start thinking about a soft phone application that runs nicely in full & touch screen. Pure hardware desk phone makers step up to the plate now while there is time to get mindshare: Your excellent firmware and SIP stack can be brought the tablet before it is too late.
ps-Noticed this post since I wrote this article!