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Uniden, ZeroPlus Sign Web Phone Marketing Deal

GERMANTOWN, MD. & FORT WORTH, TEXAS -Uniden America and have signed a three-year agreement to provide cordless telephones that offer a combination of communications and information services with the touch of a button.

According to Uniden’s product development and marketing VP Jim Palmer, the agreement formalizes a letter of intent both companies signed Nov. 15, 2000.

In a number of its cordless phones, Uniden will incorporate a single button that allows users to rout their phone calls to the ZeroPlus “gateway,” where they can access weather, stock quotes and other Internet content via voice recognition. According to Palmer, Uniden is still considering which phones will incorporate this one-touch feature.

“I see this as the first phase of the evolution of the home phone to an Internet appliance,” said Palmer. The new products will enable users to access Internet content through a cordless telephone, without the need for a PC, a monitor or even an LCD screen.

The system will work with a series of voice prompts. For instance, if someone desires to check their portfolio, they simply say “Check Acme Company” and the current share value will be told to them. Users will also have access to e-mail messages over the phone.

Additionally, consumers will be able to place low-cost long-distance calls over the Internet on ZeroPlus’ VoIP network.

Phone products and pricing arrangements for long distance and affiliated services have not been determined but should be by late April, he said. However, it is expected that purchasers will receive a trial of long-distance services from ZeroPlus with the option to buy.