brockmann_roaming_ipevoA few weeks ago, I came across this sexy Skype phone where the contact list was presented on a slick little display. That was the IPEVO Solo. 

I ordered it and low and behold 2 weeks later (ground from California took some time) came this slick phone with a Skype client in it.

It's excellent audio quality and came with a 90 minute Skype coupon. I thought awesome. 90 minutes! I sure could use that! I went through the process (there were 3 x 30 minute coupons in the program) of signing into my Skype account on the Skype website and carefully typing in the coupon details (an alpha-numeric string of about 12 characters) and then save to deliver the form contents to the Skype server. 

While the server was chugging away, I…

… did the math on the price of the 90 minutes. It was $1.80. Kinda took all the steam out of my new found joy of discovering a great deal and doing the coupon clipping process.

Despite the disappointment in the stark realization that I had just spent 3 minutes processing a trivial coupon, I am delighted with the performance of the IPEVO in my home, for my wife. As you may recall, I have gone mobile for all my family members and the plan was Skype for my business sessions or mobile as necessary.

Of course, my wife likes to call Canada from time to time and to do so on mobile would set our family finances back several meters if not miles. So, I taught her how to use Skype. Of course that meant that I had to be off my computer while she followed up with family. Enter the IPEVO, helping me reclaim my laptop so I could do work (or joy browsing) after dinner (if necessary).

As shown in the figure above, I have wired the phone up for nomadic roaming. Anne can take the assembly anywhere in the house and so long as she has 120V and 2 available ports, she can get the service going. It's not very practical for most nomadic scenarios, but it works great in our family so she can go into the next room and talk all she likes. Friends call her mobile to talk to her, or as the mobile equivalent of "Hi, can you call me on Skype?" 

I connect the IP phone to an Apple Airport Express which connects over WiFi to the Airport Extreme base station that we have implemented in our home. 

PRODUCT SUGGESTION: create an IP phone with a WiFi radio built in. 

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