Cordless Makers Highlight The High Tech

By James K. Willcox On Jan 5 2006 - 8:00am

A host of new and emerging technologies will take the spotlight as cordless vendors make a bid for relevance in the digital home.

Motorola is introducing the C51 and SBV5400 cordless phone systems, which unify access to landlines, digital phones, cellular phones and home intercoms, with color video, Internet access and push-to-talk over instant messaging using a USB connection to a PC.

The 5.8GHz SD7500 series is a Bluetooth-enabled cellular phone dock that provides access to a cellphone from any cordless handset. Features include a digital phone adapter, which adds VoIP from handsets, and a color camera for streaming video to color handsets. Additional standard and color handsets can be added, and ringtones and wallpapers can be downloaded from a PC. The SBV5400 is a VoIP-enabled cable modem that has an integrated 5.8GHz cordless phone base station.

The company is also showing two new gateway products — the RSG2500 (single-line), RSG3500 (dual-line) and SVG2500 — that when paired with a dual-mode handset can transfer voice calls between wireless LANs and cellular networks. The Motorola RSG series supports home network connectivity so users can avoid “dead spots” in the home, voice prioritization to ensure voice quality while accessing the Internet and digital phone features such as Caller ID, call-waiting, call forwarding and three-way calling. The SVG2500 is a cable modem-based communications hub.

Panasonic will feature its first 2.4Ghz/Bluetooth-based cordless handset for cellular conversion, including the KX-TH111, KX-TH112, KX-TH102C and KX-TH102M.

The KX-TH102 supports up to eight handsets and/or 18 Bluetooth devices, including cellphones, and features an answering machine, USB port and support for two phone lines. The KX-TH111, which ships next June at a suggested retail of $229.95, is an expandable model with a Bluetooth cellular link, talking caller ID and dual keypads. The KX-TH112S is a two-line phone with a Bluetooth cellular link, talking caller ID, three-way conferencing and a retail price of $249.95. It will be available in June.

Philips will bring one of the first DECT-based phones to market in the DECT225G. The 1.9MHz digital model features an answering machine in the base and caller ID. It is expandable and will ship in the first quarter of the year for a suggested $129.

Uniden will introduce the TRU9485 5.8GHz digital system featuring a digital answering machine, base keypad with caller ID and speakerphone, do not disturb option and four-way conferencing. The company will also introduce its first two-line phone system with an answering machine — the TRU9496. The 5.8GHz digital model features a voicemail box for each line. The company will also introduce the DCT7585, a 2.4GHz digital phone expandable to four handsets. The unit features an answering machine, personalized ringer caller ID, up to 100 programmable memory locations, visual ringer and the ability to record phone conversations. It can also serve as a room monitor.

VTech will introduce the i5874, a 5.8GHz digital three-handset system with integrated digital answering machine and caller ID. The i6785 comes with four handsets, a digital answering system and intercom capability between handsets.

Under its AT&T brand license, the company's 2006 model line-up includes a mix of 5.8MHz analog and digital spread-spectrum phones with and without integrated answering systems. For example, the EP5995 is a two-line cordless phone with an integrated answering system, dial-in base with speakerphone and the ability to handle up to eight handsets. The handset includes a full-color graphical display.

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