201 Product line? How about bluetooth and Wi-Fi?

Started by GWCS, March 09, 2012, 09:31:14 AM

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GWCS

Is such a thing on the cusp of either development or release? If there is still time, perhaps the Obi powers-that-be might consider the following:

Produce a unit with Wi-Fi so it can connect to one's LAN without the necessity of an ethernet cable. This would enable the user to place their unit just about anywhere, especially on an otherwise uncluttered desk. Of course, one would still need to power the device, but a thin power supply cable is hardly as intrusive of an appendage as the semi-flexible ethernet cables prove to be.

Second, bluetooth capability would be nice. In addition to the standard RJ-11 port for wired phones, it would be stellar to be able to place and receive calls directly through the Obi via a bluetooth headset. Yes, I am aware that one could purchase an additional piece of hardware that would provide bluetooth capabilities, but it would be infinitely more elegant to integrate it. Especially if Obi allowed for uploading one's Google contact list into the unit and had the same voice recognition that a standard smartphone has.

Anyone else agree and/or believe these would not be especially difficult features to add?

RevKev

I think you're stepping outside the realm of an ATA. The Obi is an ATA, not a phone. You would need to connect a bluetooth phone to the Obi and then the headset to your phone. Of course, your phone would have to support such a connection as well as the Obi.

Wi-Fi might be nice (and this would be much simpler to add a dongle) but I'd prefer to have my voice ATA on the wire rather than being subjected to slower less reliable Wi-Fi speeds. But then I have my Obi connected where the lines (pots, cable) come into the house, not on a desk or in any living area.

GWCS

Yes, I fully understand that the Obi is an ATA, and not a phone in and of itself, but that does not alter the fact that bluetooth would be a very nice feature, nonetheless. If car manufacturers followed your logic, then they also would not have adopted bluetooth technologies for phones and upgrades in stereo equipment, for instance. "It's a car, not a mobile jukebox" or "It's a car, not a mobile phone booth" would be equivalently limited visions. Would you say that they "stepped outside the realm of automobiles", or did they listen to will of the people and add features that their customers wanted? Consumers vote with their purchases, and let's face it - people like extras, features, and gadgetry. Let's take smartphones as an even more appropriate and quintessential example. Isn't the integration of e-mail, photos, video, music and apps into one singular device not stepping outside the realm of what a cell phone is? Darn right it is, and this is empirically a good thing.

Perhaps did you not read within my initial post wherein I categorically stated: Yes, I am aware that one could purchase an additional piece of hardware that would provide bluetooth capabilities, but it would be infinitely more elegant to integrate it., so telling me pretty much the same thing in your reply is a wee bit superfluous.

The Obi as an ATA is a very nice device, and if they never make an improvement upon it from a hardware standpoint, it would still go down in history as an innovation, but I guarantee you that if Obi does not do it, someone else will.

Having said that, the limited amount of bandwidth that audio consumes should never be compromised or affected in any way because the link to one's router is Wi-Fi, especially if one is using Wireless-N protocols. Besides, I never suggested eliminating the RJ-45 port, because I know that will often be many users' preference, but adding Wi-fi to it as a viable alternative.

I have movies that are stored as DVD files and they are housed on a computer on my network. I can watch these movies on my laptop which only has wireless-G, and I do so without a single skip or glitch. So, if I can enjoy uncompromised video via Wireless-G, I can safely assure you that something as mundane as audio would be equally unfettered over Wireless-N.

Stewart

The Ooma Telo is an ATA that supports both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (as extra-cost options).

RevKev

Quite a rant.

A car with bluetooth dialing has a cell phone built in. Not a huge percentage of cost for a $xx,000 car but it is for a $50 ATA. It's not a matter of adding just bluetooth, it's also adding a built-in phone that works over bluetooth.

QuotePerhaps did you not read within my initial post wherein I categorically stated: Yes, I am aware that one could purchase an additional piece of hardware that would provide bluetooth capabilities, but it would be infinitely more elegant to integrate it., so telling me pretty much the same thing in your reply is a wee bit superfluous.
Your comment was using a separate piece of hardware for bluetooth, I simply said a dongle for Wi-Fi would be easier.

QuoteHaving said that, the limited amount of bandwidth that audio consumes should never be compromised or affected in any way because the link to one's router is Wi-Fi
Well, that all depends on the traffic, throughput, range, and interference on one's particular Wi-Fi network. Maybe you didn't see where I said "I'd prefer to have my voice ATA on the wire". Small interferences in a movie or other activity are barely noticeable, in a real-time conversation they can be very annoying.

Sorry for giving an opinion. You're free to request whatever features you feel would be beneficial.

QuoteThe Ooma Telo is an ATA that supports both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (as extra-cost options).
And the Ooma starts at $200, The Obi, $43. Which I guess is my point. Adding these features also adds to the price. No problem if they are optional (or optional models).

GWCS

Actually, you said:

You would need to connect a bluetooth phone to the Obi and then the headset to your phone.

At which point I reminded you that I had previously stated:

Yes, I am aware that one could purchase an additional piece of hardware that would provide bluetooth capabilities... (clearly I was alluding to a landline style phone with bluetooth capabilities when I said "additional piece of hardware", hence the superfluousness.)

Whether the Wi-Fi capability came via a dongle or an internal antenna was a wholly separate issue, but I admit that I like your notion of a small dongle because one could upgrade the dongle if a newer/faster/better Wi-Fi protocol emerged down the line without having to purchase a new unit to achieve the upgrade.

Of course I understand the additional hardware would up the price, possibly significantly, but if there were to a be "Obi 200 series", it would be nice to have these features. Of course, they could and should continue to sell the 100 and 110 models.


Ostracus

Maybe the prosumer or SOHO market would be a better fit were higher costs are tolerated and more features expected.

guyinsb

Perhaps the USB port on the OBi202 will be used to provide WiFi access.
I think there must be a lot of smaller hotels/motels/vacation condos with landline phones
paying $30/mo; an OBi202 which can connect via WiFi could be a significant cost saver.
But it has to be simple and integrated; too easy for a guest to remove a USB dongle.

MichiganTelephone

Quote from: guyinsb on March 11, 2012, 03:35:18 PMPerhaps the USB port on the OBi202 will be used to provide WiFi access.

It appears we have a winner! Take a look here:

Here's one use for the Obihai OBi202′s USB port: WiFi connectivity

Inactive, no longer posting or responding to messages.  Goodbye and good luck.  Some of my old Obihai-related blog posts have been moved to http://tech.iprock.com - note this in NOT my blog; I have simply given the owner permission to repost some of my old stuff.

Ostracus


QBZappy

#10
More on the USB port. Sounds like there could be Samba lurking in that router.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=341354099247154&set=a.341352769247287.76016.112820825433817&type=3&theater

The OBi202 is equipped with a 2-port router/bridge with support for integrated quality of service (QoS). The OBi202 may be installed in a variety of environments that either do not have an available Ethernet port and/or locations where upstream voice traffic needs to be prioritized above other types of traffic like web surfing and uploading pictures and movies. The OBi202 USB port serves multiple purposes. Using the OBiWiFi Wireless Adapter, the OBi202 can be placed anywhere within range of an 802.11bgn access point. Or, the USB port can be connected to a storage deivce to enable local and remote access of stored files on a PC user authorized to access content via the OBi202
Owner of the 1st OBi110/100 units in service in Canada & South America. 1st OBi202 on my street. 1st OBi1032 in Montreal.


Amiga

Yes, please give us a Bluetooth adapter, like Ooma offers - http://www.ooma.com/products/ooma-bluetooth . It should allow multiple Bluetooth devices to be active for an entire family (up to 5 mobile handsets which is the max in a family mobile plan), unlike Panasonic's Link-to-Cell / Link2Cell which only allows two devices to be paired with their cordless phones. Active equating to being able to answer any of the five Bluetooth devices from the OBi202.