By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Panasonic and VTech broadened their 5.8GHz digital lines at International CES, enhancing the functionality of their “Wi-Fi friendly” phones.
Panasonic brought audio-video monitoring to its 5.8GHz lineup. All of its 5.8GHz digital frequency hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) models will offer the ability to add a wireless camera as one of up to eight handsets, using the camera (KX-TGA573S, May, $99.99) and the 1.5-inch color LCD handset (available in some packages and separately for $89.99 in April) that interfaces with an optional wireless camera for room monitoring. The camera also features a built-in microphone, speaker, sound detector and call button to allow two-way communication.
The company also tweaked caller ID and incoming calling features. Some models will feature photo caller ID with images downloaded to the handset via USB. A recordable customized ringer lets users record up to 90 seconds of sound from any audio source to use as a ringer. Ringer ID lets users assign specific ringtones to incoming phone numbers.
The 5.8GHz expandable lineup starts at $99.95 for the KX-TG5761S featuring caller ID, handset/base speakerphone, four-way conferencing and customized ringer. It will ship in April. A version with 1.5-inch color handset will ship in April for a suggested $129.95.
The KX-TG5771S, with an integrated answering machine (ITAD), will ship in April for a suggested $129.95 with a monochrome LCD and $149.95 for a model (KX-TG5776S) with a 1.5-inch color LCD and ringer download.
Panasonic will offer a two-line model in June for a suggested $169.95. It builds of the KX-TG5771S with caller ID, 60 minute ITAD and dual keypads.
The company also announced six stand-alone 5.8GHz FHSS models from $59.95 to $199.95.
VTech will add another “mini” model in its line of 5.8GHz DSS phones. The mi6879 features caller ID, ITAD with 15 minutes of recording time, handset/base speakerphone, four-handset expandability, base keypad and handset, intercom and conference between handsets.
The phone will retail for a suggested $119.95 and ship in the spring alongside the mi6807 accessory handset for a suggested $59.95.
VTech's Advanced American Telephones subsidiary announced several new AT&T-branded models. The E5908 ($89.95) is a 5.8GHz digital model with a corded base, caller ID, 15 minute ITAD, base speakerphone, and intercom between handsets. It will be bundled with two handsets.
Under the AT&T brand they will also offer a series of value multi-handset systems including the $79.95 E2718B. The unit is expandable to three handsets and features caller ID, 30 name/number phonebook, handset-to-handset transfers and handset speakerphone. A version with a 15 minute ITAD (E2728B) will retail for a suggested $99.95.
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