Clarisys Phone Dials Up the Future

The cost and technology benefits of voice over IP are sufficiently attractive to keep me tuned in, and I'm not alone.

The cost and technology benefits of voice over IP are sufficiently attractive to keep me tuned in, and Im not alone. Japan recently announced plans to gradually shift to a VOIP-based phone system over the next decade or so.

Ive been testing the $79.95 Claritel i750, a USB VOIP handset from Clarisys (www.clarisys.net). The affordable i750 phone sounds pretty good, owing to its echo-cancellation facilities, but ergonomic factors, such as a heavy USB cord more reminiscent of a power cord than a phone cord, will prove distracting for new users.

In addition, when it comes to VOIP phones, the rule of the day is BYOB—bring your own back end. I could sign up with various PC-to-phone service vendors to power my calls, but users will see best results in an enterprise setting with its own VOIP back end in place.