Computer parts manufacturer Asus has released a standalone Skype videophone that will allow you to do video calls from anywhere in your home without a computer.

Perfect for home or office, the ASUS AiGuru SV1 has a built-in webcam and 7″ TFT LCD screen that will allow you to do video calls from anywhere?  How can it be done anywhere?  The phone connects to your network either by ethernet cable or Wi-Fi so that you have your choice of complete freedom, or stationary use.  It also features rechargeable batteries, which I would imagine drain quickly with Wi-Fi in use, but you truly would be able to wander anywhere in your house or office while using this device.

According to the Skype blog, the new phone does not offer all of the features of Skype on your computer, but it still brings you the most important features.

  • Make Skype-to-Skype voice and video calls, including voice conference calls
  • See presence information, so you know who’s online
  • Make cheap calls – call landlines and mobiles around the world with Skype credit and/or subscriptions
  • Use your online number – allows anyone to reach you wherever you are in the world
  • Receive voicemail, and see when you’ve missed calls
  • Review your Skype account details

While I have not had a chance to use one of these yet, I would have liked to have seen a QWERTY keyboard included, but I imagine that would have already raised the not-so-cheap price (€269.95/$299.95/£219.95).  Watching the video of how this works on the above linked blog entry, it does appear to work fairly easily, and could make a perfect gift this holiday season for families that are seperated by great distances.

I am struck by how much this is beginning to feel like the video phoneing so many futurists predicted decades ago.

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