updated 12:35 pm EDT, Thu August 21, 2008
OpenPeak Home Phones
Newcomer American firm OpenPeak is developing a home phone system that would take many of the design principles of the iPhone to fixed lines, according to a scoop at Wired. The OpenFrame would revolve around a large, portrait-style touchscreen display with some phone functionality built-in but which will also have support for extra functions both out of the box and through third-party apps.
The device would have its own built-in calendar, news and digital photo frame functions but could be used for more demanding tasks written by OpenPeak and others: as the OpenFrame is run by an Intel Atom processor and full networking, it could stream Internet radio and otherwise stand in where a computer would be necessary. VoIP is also an option for carriers that don't depend on traditional phone lines.
Separate handsets would provide a traditional phone experience and would have their own smaller touchscreens for handling certain functions away from the OpenFrame.
OpenPeak hasn't slated a release date but says it anticipates pricing the OpenFrame between $200 and $300 depending on final costs and market research; most would sell through existing phone carriers, though the possibility exists of the device being sold as a stand-alone item that can be used with any carrier.
Apart from the iPhone-influenced control scheme, OpenPeak also shares an indirect connection to Apple though key investor John Sculley, who ran Apple as chief executive following Steve Jobs' departure in 1985.