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Verizon De-HUBs

A big thank you to Dave Zatz for pointing out that Verizon Wireless today decided to discontinue the HUB. This product has been very interesting to watch as it represents a fundamental rethinking of the “home phone” and could have changed the industry for the better.

But as is typical of Verizon Wireless, they’ve managed to kill the goose before the golden egg could emerge. Actually, that’s not a fair characterization of the project. They sealed its fate with their typically heavy-handed need to for cash & control. They held the goose so tight that it could never breathe, much less lay an egg.

As Dave points out, the device and its associated service was simply priced beyond the reach of its appeal.

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Immersive Audio: Sound All Around You

Ok, this is me diving into the deep-end of something that very possibly literally no-one in the world cares about. That’s just so typical of me. Actually, I know that a few people are starting to clue in about this because I’ve heard it come up here and there in conversation, most recently at the Sept 15th HDComms event in NYC.

This post is actually the third in a series. In the first (Pink Floyd: The Making Of Money & Directionality) I took a quick look at pop music recording practices and specifically the practice of recording things “close-mic’d” the adding ambience through synthetic means. In the second in the series (Codecs, Wideband & Stereo: A Conversation At Amoocon) I followed a conversation in the hallway at AMOOCON 2009, noting aspects of the discussion pertaining to “stereo” or the conveyance of directionality.

Once we get beyond PSTN audio quality, when wideband is accepted as normal, then “dimensional” or “immersive” audio becomes a new frontier for exploration in telephony. In fact, in some limited ways we’re already doing this in larger video conference room & telepresence suites.

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In-Stat On Media Phones

CLOUD-TELECOMPTERS-GLASSIt’s no secret that I’ve been living with a couple of Polycom VVX-1500 Business Media Phones around my office for the past few months. My review of these devices will shortly run over at Small Net Builder.

This is one of the few times that 3000 words seemed like a problem. That is, I could use more space to get into more detail about the devices. Perhaps we’ll run a follow-up later on. That’d be great, presuming that I get to run a trial installation of the phones as I hope.

Anyway, Media Phones. It’s a whole new category. It’s like the iPhone for the home or office. That includes some other devices that I’ve shown interest in, like the Verizon HUB from Open Peak, and Glass from Cloud Telecomputers (pictured).

Analysts In-Stat have published a report on media phones. It’s free. Go fetch it. I’ll wait.

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