Overtaking by mobile and digital technology, is there still a place for the humble house phone in our future?
The humble landline phone has just turned 100. Once the communication tool of choice, in the last decade the home phone has been enduring a slow, agonising death.
First we went mobile, then got lost in the World Wide Web and found it could grant us free calls on Skype.More stories from Today Tonight
It’s no wonder that along with the VCR and Tube TVs, our old landline became obsolete.
That is, until now.
Could a new phone herald the return of the home phone?
Telstra certainly hope so. Their T-Hub 2 is a combination of a home phone and a tablet, giving users internet access. It’s like your old phone but with an added Android operating system.
According to Narelle Charity from the Telstra Experience Store “internet tablets are very popular, and combining that with the home phone is what we’ve done with T-HUB 2.
“While you’re on a phone call you can play Angry Birds, or you can browse Facebook, or plan your calendar,” she said.
“It’s a great quality home phone and it’s a tablet - it has access to the internet and all the great features that come with tablets.”
Like the T-Hub 1, it’s all touch screen. You can switch between screens, select your favourite applications, and then get them at the click of a button, meaning you can check the weather and the news while on the phone.
The Quinn family have been trialling the T-Hub 2.
“We’ve tried it for three days, and we’ve been playing with it for three days, doing all sorts of things in various parts of the apartment - using it as browser, sending and receiving emails - doing all of those things,” Dr John Quinn said.
Gadget guy Pete Blasina says this could be the comeback that could reassert the home phones presence on the home front.
“As a transition product I think it’s pretty much on the money,” he said.
“There is the opportunity here to offer a device that gives people the confidence of using a regular phone, but all the features of the online environment at the same time. It’s very much a multipurpose device, and it’s more evolutionary than revolutionary.”
And it’s not just the home phone getting a makeover. According to Tyler MacGee from Samsung “the hottest phone in the world is the Galaxy S3.
“It is our latest flagship Smartphone. We launched it at the end of May and we’ve been very excited by the response we’ve had from consumers,” he said.
Samsung's Galaxy S3 boasts several features that set it apart from the current batch.
“What we are seeing now is that the phone call is way down on the priority list in terms of what you do in mobile phones, consequently it means a pure landline phone is almost redundant today,” he concluded.Contact details
This reporter is on Twitter at @LyndaKinkade
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