Landlines That Do More

Verizon has introduced a device called the Verizon Hub in a bid to make the home phone more dynamic and prevent further declines of the wireline (wireless only households in the US are estimated to be at about 18% or so). It uses both a wireline and wireless broadband Internet connection.

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According to the press release:

Information will be at a family’s fingertips, literally from an easy-to-navigate touch screen with clear icons on the Verizon Hub. Families will start and end their days with nuggets of customized information from the Verizon Hub:

  • Check local traffic and weather in the morning before leaving the house
  • Update your calendar and automatically receive a text when an appointment changes or as a reminder not to be late
  • Get directions to the new site when the location for soccer practice is moved
  • Find the number of the new pizza parlor to order a pie
  • Preview the trailers from an upcoming movie that you might want to take the family to over the weekend, then purchase tickets using the Verizon Hub

The Hub is quite similar in intention and design (touch screen) to the AT&T Home Manager (a landline phone with a touch screen), which has received mixed reviews.

I haven’t used the Verizon Hub and it’s not clear how much the device costs — that will be a driver of success or failure. The “closed universe” of the AT&T Home Manager will be mostly unsatisfying. Beyond cost, the success or failure of these devices, will be the degree to which their screens offer real utility and something that approaches genuine Internet access.

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4 Responses to “Landlines That Do More”

  1. joemescher Says:

    I can see some people signing up for a product/service like that, but my iPhone will achieve all the above mentioned tasks singularly.

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    Yes. This product is late to market. Cost is a huge factor and the “user experience” will also be critical. That’s why Home Manager is likely to fail. If I have the iPhone or a wireless network so that I can move my laptop around the house I don’t need Home Manager or the Hub.

  3. Chris Silver Smith Says:

    They’ve had incarnations of this product around for quite a number of years.

    It’s very similar in some respects to the pie-in-the sky notions of making other traditional home appliances interactive/dynamic, and it shares the same shakiness of concept in terms of likely succes that they did.

    For instance, yeah, it’s great that I could have my refrigerator hooked up to the internet. But, do I really need/want that?!?

    A wireline phone which has the same stuff on it that my computer and wireless phone have on them just seems a bit too after-the-fact. It’s solving a problem that I just don’t feel like I have.

    Currently, I barely use my wireline anymore, so I’m increasingly thinking about ditching it entirely in favor of the single solution of my cellphone.

  4. Greg Sterling Says:

    Agree

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