Phone innovation

When I had a Blackberry through work, it synced seamlessly over an Exchange Server and so Contacts and Calendar were always in sync. Today, my cell phone syncs with my computer, but either bluetooth or connected, so I must be proactive about it.

What doesn’t sync is my home phone. We have one phone number that we moved to Vonage about three years ago (we were early adopters and paid the price with sometimes crappy connections). We have two hand sets – a base station and a little stand alone one. Neither syncs with my computer.

So, anytime I use the home phone, I need to look up a number on my computer. I’ve saved the most frequently called numbers, but it required manual entry. Not that this is a huge deal, but why don’t home phones sync? Because you are at home and it is easy to look up a number? But a lot of people just use their cell phones because everything is in there…

Is the technology so different that they can’t sync? What if the phone was merely a dumb client that accessed an online address db such as Plaxo? And for extra, bonus points, what would be *really* cool if when you picked up the phone, you entered a quick two digit ID that told the phone which user it was and then you could access your own address book and another user could access his/her own address book.

I know some of the Skype phones that you plug into your computer do this, but what if your phone plugs into the internet anyway (like Vonage)…

Does anyone know of such a device?

  • Pingback: Why doesnt the home phone sync with the computer? | Dr. Doubt !()

  • Thanks, I stole your question ..

    http://www.drdoubt.com/?p=31

    I think I know the reason. ‘Personal’ mobile phones sync with ‘Personal’ Computers. For family devices, syncing process has started – think AppleTV and others. Slowly it will happen.

    How about an Apple HomePhone? lets call it the “we”Phone.

  • Shripriya

    Hmm… not sure I buy your hypothesis. What’s to say a land line is a “family” device? When I lived alone, it was just me and the phone didn’t sync even then! 🙂

    Plus, think about a network computer at work – anyone with a valid ID at that employer can log in and access their own online profile. So, that technology exists.

    I still think it is because unlike a cell phone that you use outside, your data is all at home anyway. Also, maybe this is a declining business? But even with VOIP (which is growing), you need an instrument…

    Let me know if you get a response to the question, I’d love to know.

  • Ricky

    My memory is fuzzy on this one. I remember reading about 2 years ago that there is cellphone that can switch to use your landline via a bluetooth base-station. So you don’t use up your cellphone minutes at home, and eliminates the need to sync up the phones.

    On the topic of phone innovation, why stop with sync. We all should be able to just pick up the phone and have it understand some basic verbal command. Call XYX. Especially for Vonage where they require a router that already has a computing power to handle such request. I don’t want to share my phone address book online but if the information is encrypted and inside my router, i wouldn’t have any problems with that.

  • Hmm..when a smart phone is able to sync with a Personal Computer and get data, this is useful when we are away from office, right? I believe in straight talks not in E-mailing from either office PC or a Smart Phone. Its a waste of time. By the time u type a Email in a Smart phone u can call the respective person and make necessary conversation, That way i hate smart phones.

  • Shripriya

    @ Ricky – I think you are right – I have a vague recollection of that announcement too. Also, agree – since Vonage makes you do work and is network based, they could do so much more – dial a 2 digit number (for security) and then tell it who to call etc. etc.

    @ Thenraj – I was suggesting a home phone that synced with your address book so that you could use it to call your contacts more easily. (Talk, not email).

    On that point, Vonage should care about this because it will mean more minutes on their service and therefore more $$

  • Hello Madam,

    Sorry i misunderstood ur post. Anyway i dont know about the service providers of US but in India there are companies like Airtel, Reliance, Tata Indicom giving similiar service to that of Vonage, I think they give the service you want.

  • Padma Lakshmi

    Hi there…Man i love reading your blog, interesting posts ! it was a great Saturday .