iPhone for the Home? – if Apple would make Cordless Phones

While it looks like the fraternal twin of Apple’s multimedia iPhone, OpenPeak’s new home phone is an entirely new animal.  Featuring the functionality of a home phone, coupled with the style of an Apple computer, OpenPeak is hoping to redefine the playing field for home phones.

However, instead of carrying it in your pocket, this trendy unit is meant to sit and look chic on your home office desk.

OpenPeak, an IP telephony company based in Florida, says that their OpenFrame IP media phone has been in the works for about a year and a half and is almost ready for release.  From what we’ve heard, the OpenFrame will act as a communications center the whole family can use.  Sounds interesting, thus we took a closer look.

On the Surface

Although the OpenFrame has yet to grace our homes, you don’t have to own one to know that it’s far from the average handset and base station.  The base station is more than meets the eye, doubling as a speaker phone.  It comes equipped with a full Application Program Interface and its own flash-based software platform.  When checking out the icons on the display, you will see that the OpenFrame appears to be designed to perform many functions of a computer, indicating that it just may be a handy internet appliance.

Similar to the iPhone, the OpenFrame features an impressive touch interface.  The screen is respectfully expansive, making the unit practical for frequent use.  The interface is very responsive, adding ease to the task of navigating through the menu.  The OpenFrame’s handset also has a defined, alluring form, although it currently does not pack a touch interface.  We have received word that this will be addressed by the time the unit launches.  As far as looks are concerned, OpenFrame has gone beyond status quo, perhaps creating a haute couture style for your cordless phones.

Extreme Capability?

Oozing innovation and a stylish presentation, it’s already clear that OpenPeak’s new media phone will be in a league of its own.  So what can it do?  At this point, that has yet to be seen or fully expounded upon by the manufacturer.  What we do know is that the phone will be VoIP friendly.  In addition, we’ve been told that it supports home automation software and can control some of your household appliances.

However, there are some flaws in the current state of development.  While OpenFrame does have a RSS reader, it is currently lacking a browser.  In addition, it seems restricted by location because it’s plugged into the wall with a power cord.  We didn’t exactly expect a portable base station, but it wouldn’t have been surprising when considering the overall package of functionality.

There has been speculation that the API could enable the development of a larger set of applications and features to give the OpenFrame added functionality.  These additions will likely determine if this new media phone will be a phenomenon or flop.

OpenPeak says that we should expect the OpenFrame to ship out somewhere in the first quarter of 2009.  The phones will be sold through VoIP providers along with service contracts.  We look forward to learning more about the unit’s multimedia features to see if its worthy of the iPhone comparison or just another deflating piece of eye candy.