Two ways of calling Skype wirelessly: DECT and Nokia
Out of your headset
Two wireless Skype solutions have been uncovered. One uses a standard DECT phone to make calls, the other harnesses the Nokia Series 60 Symbian software interface.
Both are solutions to a problem which probably doesn't occur to the new Skype user, who sees only "free phone calls!" and fails to realise that these calls are mostly only available if you're sitting at your PC with a headset on. A Bluetooth headset lets you move about, but still doesn't let you place calls, or receive them, without using the keyboard and mouse.
These products also solve another big problem: the Skype ring. There's no separate bell on a PC; the sound card works through the headset. If you aren't wearing the headset, you can't hear the Skype call ringing. Enter two standard phones, which plug into Skype.
The Symbian package works on several Nokia phones. It was released by UsefulApps in three forms:
• Useful GPRS-3G Skype running on Nokia 6630, Nokia 6680
• Useful Skype Bluetooth phone running on Nokia 6630, Nokia 6680
• Useful Skype Bluetooth PTT (Push to Talk) - running on just about every Nokia Symbian phone there is: Nokia 3230, Nokia 3600, Nokia 3620, Nokia 3650, Nokia 3660, Nokia 6260, Nokia 6600, Nokia 6620, Nokia 6630, Nokia 6670, Nokia 6680, Nokia 6681, Nokia 7610, Nokia 7650, Nokia N-Gage, Nokia N-Gage QD, Nokia Series 60
"Useful Skype Phone enables full duplex Skype voice calls from mobile phone," said the sales blurb. "Run Useful client on the phone, connect it to the PC over Bluetooth and place/receive Skype calls as you do normal cellular calls."
Skype and Useful server both need to run on the PC. The setup process installs Useful server on the PC and also installs Useful client on the phone.
"Useful Skype Phone enhances Useful Skype PTT by allowing full duplex voice communications (no need to press Talk button while talking), but is limited to Nokia 6630 and 6680 for now."
The alternative is to use a standard DECT phone. Yamamoto Group has two ways of Skypeing on the move around the house; a phone, and a box to plug into the PC.
The EasyBlue Telbox isn't really a consumer option; it requires some PC tech-sense. The box plugs into a USB port on a Skype-equipped PC; and also plugs into a standard phone line. And you can plug a standard phone into it; either wired or wireless. But you have to download the CallMe software to set it up, or you won't be able to switch between Skype and PSTN calls.
The company also offers a range of simple USB phones which work with Skype; not wireless, as far as could be ascertained by press time.
The "Usefulapps" products are available from Handango.
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