updated 04:05 pm EST, Thu January 10, 2008
VTech this week contributed to CES with an addition to its lineup of DECT-based home phones. Taking a cue from smartphones, the IS6110 has a full QWERTY keyboard as well as an enlarged LCD that can be used to send instant messages without having to start a computer or shoulder the costs of messaging from a cellphone. The unusual approach works by connecting the base station to a computer through USB as well as to a phone line, VTech says. The digital nature of DECT also provides enough bandwidth to allow voice chats over IM using a button press and effectively creates free online calling without needing dedicated software.
The handset can also store multiple ringtones similar to its cellular relatives and will hold as many as 50 traditional phone contacts. VTech expects to ship the 6110 sometime in February and prices a bundle with the station, a phone, and a charging cradle at $99.