Phone and voice based communication devices have come a long way, and thanks to VoIP one can make telephone calls with an Internet connection at a fraction of the cost of a regular telephone call.
The OBi device has been announced as a platform to make use of Google Voice services. The OBi device lets you make cheap calls to any Gmail user right from your phone. Until now, it was difficult for laymen to use VoIP devices and rake in the benefits of cheap calls made possible by Google Voice, because that required a Linux server which would always be switched on to host the open source Asterisk PBX.
Obihai Technology has unveiled their OBi 100 and Obi110 to make calls to the U.S. and Canada for free if you are located in these countries. If you stay abroad, you would pay as less as 1 cent per minute to make calls to telephones in Canada and the U.S. All that you would need is a broadband connection, any analog phone, a Gmail account and of course, an OBi analog telephone adaptor. The best part is that the OBi works with other Internet phone service providers as well. The OBi can communicate with other OBi devices with the help of a Braodband connection, or over 3G/4G connections or even over a Wi-Fi connection. The Android and iOS apps are free, which means you could use your Smartphone to make calls any place within Canada or the USA for free.
What’s more, the OBi also comes with a social network component, which would require you to tweak the configuration a bit. Apart from calling people with the help of Google Voice, you would also be able to use the messaging features of Google Voice. Some of the other services that the OBi is compatible with are Callcentric, Sipgate, Vitelity and Voip.ms. You would also be able to block unwanted calls, forward calls to a different phone, connect to your friends’ OBi devices and even know who is calling you up, thanks to the Caller ID functionality. It does sound like a great idea to start with, and may help you to cut down on a lot of expenses when it comes to telephone bills.
You could also read about how Skype, the popular VoIP Giant was acquired by Microsoft. Viber App may make it easier for you to call any iPhone for free. Google Voice has been a consistent competitor of Skype, and it only remains to be seen for how long Skype can put up the battle. With gadgets like Obi, using Google Voice to make regular telephone calls becomes extremely easy, and Skype may become defunct, if things turn out to be lucky for Google.