updated 09:10 am EST, Fri March 9, 2007
magicJack VoIP Adapter
Telecom vet Dan Borislow today filled in early details of the magicJack, his similarly-titled company's new adapter and service hybrid. The goal is to simplify VoIP to the point where almost anyone can use it, the firm claims. Once subscribed, the only setup needed is plugging the adapter into a USB port and any analog phone into the adapter: the device automatically installs and configures itself within a minute and is ready to use from then onwards. It currently supports only Windows but will be followed by a Mac version.
As with most voice over IP, the advantage is low-cost calling. Reaching other magicJack users is free regardless of where they live, the company says, but differs from Skype in pricing. Instead of charging for every call to a real-world number, a $20 subscription ensures that every call in North America and parts of Europe is free. The initial device should cost between $30 and $40. A beta test has started today and will lead to an official launch in April. [via GigaOM]