Realizing that Internet telephone services would never truly catch on until an Internet phone was made to look, feel and function like a traditional telephone, a company in Timonium, MD, USA, has invented a telephone handset that closely resembles the handset you pick up when you answer a traditional telephone that is ringing.
In addition to Internet speed and bandwidth limitations, Internet telephone services have been limited by the separate microphones and speakers that have generally been used to talk via computer. With a microphone in a fixed position, the varying distance between mouth and microphone created sound problems. And with speakers loudly broadcasting the conversation, annoying feedback loops to the microphone were often created.
But these problems have been solved, just as they were on traditional phones many years ago, by placing the speaker and microphone together on a handset. The model tested by RoadNews.com did indeed seem like a real telephone. It functioned well. The handsets traditional look and feel will help its maker break through a rather high psychological barrier to use computers for voice communication.
Riparius Ventures markets its Internet Telephone INT100CS through retail computer stores, and mail order catalogs with a suggested retail price of US$29.95. The unit weighs under a pound and is rugged for travel. It comes bundled with trial software needed to use the phone.
Riparius Ventures, 375 Padonia Rd. West, Suite 200, Timonium, MD 21093 USA, 410/561-8811 or 800/394-8812, Fax: 410/560-2049, Web Site: http://www2.riparius.com. You can purchase the INT100CS online at http://www.directimage.com or through the mail in the US by calling PC Zone at 800/408-9663.