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Review: Invoxia NVX 610 Speakerphone

Invoxia-Desk-Phone-Logo-300px Invoxia’s NVX 610 is a curious device. In some ways it defies description. Is it an iPhone/iPad dock? Is it a desk phone? Or is it a conference phone?

In truth, it’s all of these things. The question is, can it very good at all those functions? Or any of them?

These questions are what prompted me approach Invoxia for an evaluation unit. This review arises from the my experience with that device over the past eight months.

Let’s begin by considering a little bit about the company. Invoxia are a French company with strength in design and engineering. Amongst their team you will find considerable experience in telecom. In the past they have been involved in projects for BT and the French multi-national Thomson, including the SIP/DECT hardware that Comcast rolled out as part of its HomePoint offering.

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First Look: Gigaset C610A & L410

Gigaset C610AL410_TR_whi_300 Some weeks ago Gigaset sent me a a couple of their newer US offerings to try. The first of these that I’ve unboxed is the new C610A Cordless DECT phone with the L410 Hands-free Clip.

Unlike the various Gigaset systems I’ve considered in the past, the C610A is not an IP-capable system. It sports just one old school analog line interface. Normally I wouldn’t even trouble myself to take such a phone out of the box.

The C610A itself is a pretty basic phone. The DECT base includes voicemail capability, with a small speaker on the base so that you can listen to voice messages at the base even if the handset is elsewhere. The VM system can also be used to record a call in progress.

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Invoxia NVX 610: Executive Desk Phone Powered by iOS Device

As it happens, I was travelling last week so not able to attend the VUC call on September 30th that featured Invoxia. Thank goodness for the podcast because their product, the NVX610 certainly looks interesting.

In fact, it’s interesting on many levels. For the past few years there have been a number of people I know who have been seeking a re-imagining of the desk phone. Fellow blogger Dave Michels is one of the more notable folks calling for such an effort.

In exploring the space looking for a solution to our latent desire for a wholly new kind of executive desk phone we’ve been distracted by various things.

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ClearOne Chat 160 Earned Its Keep This Past Week

Clear-One-Chat160-200Last Fall I bought a ClearOne Chat 160 USB attached conference audio device. It was purchased to make it easier for Tim Panton to gather the Asterisk Dev crowd to join the VUC call following Astricon 2010.  In that role it seemed at least adequate, much better than what we used at Astricon 2009.

Since then the ClearOne Chat 160 has loitered about my office seeing only occasional use. This past week I shipped it to Milwaukee with some Pixel Power equipment that I was supposed to demonstrate. This demo was to be a little unusual in that I wasn’t going to Milwaukee myself.

The plans was that I was to give the demo remotely. Our salesman would bring the equipment in to the prospects site, get it setup and online. I would be given access using GotoMeeting. For a portion of the demo I’d drive the gear from my office in Houston. For a second portion I’d show them the desktop of the system that I was using, which gave an example of how the product they were evaluating would be integrated into their facility.

Some of what they saw would be local to them, providing real HD video output to a proper HD monitor. Locally they would be able to assess the output quality and the basic performance of the hardware. The systems that they viewed remotely would serve as an example of the newsroom workflow tools that we provider, giving them a view of the news dept role in preparing graphics for each newscast.

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Review: ClearOne Chat 160 USB Conference Phone

In my travels there have been times when I’ve engaged in some very long phone calls. It may be that I’m speaking to my wife while killing time in some far off hotel, or perhaps consulting with an associate on a tech support matter. In such circumstances I’ve come to believe that a USB attached speakerphone and a soft phone can be a very convenient combination.

USB attached audio devices are handy when you have a computer readily available. Being USB attached they save you the trouble of finding a way to provide network connectivity for a traditional IP conference phone.

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New Gear: ClearOne Chat 160

At lasts years visit to Astricon it became clear that  it would be good to “tool up” for having conference calls at remote locations. As I described previously, the ClearOne Chat 50 USB speakerphone that I had brought along was not really adequate to the task of a conference call with a number of people scattered around a hotel room.

I can’t fault the device as it, like most USB attached speakerphones, are intended as personal audio devices, to be used by an individual at a desk. It’s microphone pickup pattern describes a 120 degree arc across the front of the device. That means that fully two thirds of the room are off-mic and won’t be heard very well.

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