With just about everyone carrying and using a smartphone throughout their workday, the desk phone is starting to look like it could fade into obsolescence. For some things, however, the form factor of a good ol’ landline is still preferable. French tech firm invoxia has attempted to blend the benefits of smartphones and desktops, with its New AudiOffice phone.
When the user receives a call on their iOS or Android smartphone, they just place it in the New AudiOffice’s phone dock, then pick up the attached handset and use it to answer and proceed with the call. It’s the type of thing that some people might not care about, but for others, a traditional ergonomic handset is far preferable to the flat surface of a smartphone.
Mobile devices such as phones can also be wirelessly paired with the AudiOffice via Bluetooth, plus tablets can be physically docked using an integrated cradle.
While there are other gadgets that let you handset-ize your mobile phone, the New AudiOffice does offer a few other features. For one thing, its four microphones and six speakers allow for hands-free conversations and conference calls, with better sound output than would be possible using the smartphone on its own – the previous AudiOffice model had two mics and four speakers.
It can also be hooked up to a PC or Mac, allowing users to record conversations, or to play audio from their computer over the New AudiOffice’s speakers. When the phone conversations are over and users want to kick back a little, music can additionally be played from a docked or paired device.
Our staff at CES 2013 had a chance to try the New AudiOffice out at the invoxia booth, and report that it offers crisp sound, and is comfortable to use. It’s priced at US$299, and can be seen in use in the video below.