updated 01:50 pm EDT, Fri September 22, 2006
ASUS AiGuru S1
Skype phones are often single-purpose, streaming only phone calls over the local network. ASUS believes that at least some users would also like to take advantage of the necessary WiFi connection to stream more than just voice. The company's AiGuru S1 phone both controls basic music navigation on a PC using Windows Media Player and optionally plays the audio through speakers built into the phone itself. A stereo minijack connects the S1 to an outside speaker set or pair of earphones. Lastly, ASUS has also given its new VoIP phone a certain level of independence from the host PC: though it must still be in range of the computer running Skype in order to make calls, the S1 can browse the call history and contact list on its own. Pricing and shipping are not ready yet, though the region-independent nature of the phone likely means an approaching North American launch.