updated 11:00 pm EST, Wed January 13, 2010
Box connected directly to home Internet
Ooma has announced that its Telo VoIP device is set to get several additional features. The company's Pure Voice technology is claimed to maintain landline-quality audio even with consistent packet loss of up to 50 percent. The system complements built-in QoS methods and reduces bandwidth requirements, helping the Telo work effectively when using Internet connections heavily used by other services such as streaming video, gaming, or downloads.
The company has also announced an even higher quality option, HD Voice, that will be available for calls made between two Ooma devices. HD Voice doubles the transmitted audio frequencies compared to conventional telephones. The additional frequencies are claimed to provide a richer and more natural sound.
Users will soon be able to integrate their mobile phone with a home phone system via Bluetooth. The wireless option can be used to answer cellphone calls using the home phone, or answer calls the the home phone using a Bluetooth headset. Many cellphones can also transfer address book content to the Telo.
Along with Bluetooth support, the company is also working on launching an Ooma app for the iPhone and iPod touch. The app will extend the customers' Ooma service to any location with a Wi-Fi connection.
Ooma has extended support to include Google Voice Extensions, allowing users to hear Google Voice call presentations and then pick up any handset to be connected to the caller. The system also provides one-touch access to Google Voicemail, while allowing the Google Voice number to be used as the outgoing caller-ID.
All customers will be able to take advantage of voicemail transcription, with inbound voicemails converted into text and sent via e-mail or text message. Humans are allegedly involved in the transcription process to help maintain accuracy.
The additional functionality is expected to be added in the first half of the year. The Telo currently retails for $250, with an enhanced-features bundle priced at $10 per month.