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.
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.
…power that is. I’m such a sucker for a pun or inflammatory headline. The one area that the Sprint issued Mifi device leaves me wanting is in the battery life. If you are accustomed to wifi all the time then the battery in the mifi is just not going to satisfy. Oh, it lasts a good long while…perhaps 2-3 hours…but that’s not near long enough in many cases.
This is by no means a defect of the device. It’s just a little contrast between the permanence of a real wifi AP and the wee little Mifi. Around the house I expect that the wifi is just always there, and so the connection, although wireless, is constant.
I went looking last weekend to find the Mifi box. I wanted to check and see if I had overlooked a USB cable. I hadn’t. According to the manifest on the side of the box Sprint doesn’t provide the micro-USB cable. I gather that Verizon does.
Rumor has it that the Mifi will operate directly attached to a host PC usng a micro-USB cable. So attached the PC powers the device resulting effectively unlimited run-time. This seems more ideal tha my present situation so I bought a micro-USB cable on E-Bay for $4 and will try this when I get home on the weekend.
It’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).