By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Panasonic provided more details last week on its previously announced Wi-Fi phone for use with Skype's VoIP service.
The Skype-certified KX-WP1050 supports a variety of Skype calling features, including presence, SkypeIn/Out, voicemail and call conferencing. It includes a Wi-Fi-enabled (802.11b/g) base unit for home use and can store up to 500 contacts.
The product is being geared mostly toward home users as a means to untie their Skype calls from the PC and for road warriors who use the Internet telephony service for business.
The phone will come with a travel router to provide consumers with a portable Wi-Fi access point whenever there is an available broadband connection. It features a 1.8-inch LCD display, 256-bit WPA encryption, built-in Quality of Service, eight ringtones, a speakerphone and a headset jack.
The battery offers 4.5 hours of talktime and 55 hours of standby. It can be charged in the router or via a USB connection to the PC.
Panasonic is currently selling the unit in its online store and at several e-commerce sites. It has not announced brick-and-mortar distribution.
The Wi-Fi phone will retail for a suggested $399.
In announcing its release, Panasonic said more Skype-certified products would be forthcoming. The company is currently selling a USB Skype-adapter (KX-TGA575s) for a line of its TG5700 series 5.8GHz phones. The adapter lets users view Skype contacts and place Skype calls using a cordless handset, in addition to placing landline calls.
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