Home Business IT Business Telecommunications vtalk seeks Kickstarter funding for desk phone

Australian startup vtalk has turned to Kickstarter to raise the $250,000 required to commercialise its reimagining of the desk phone.

Sydney-based vtalk is attempting to bring the business phone into the 21st century.

It has designed a desk phone that comprises a tablet-style module as the control panel - in order to enable a rich user experience - and videophone display/camera, plus a smartphone-like handset.

vtalk CEO Jeremy Bogan said “Sit a smartphone next to a desk phone and you’ll realise desk phones are still made with technologies that haven’t changed since the 1990s.

"Our goal is to bring the clean design aesthetics, multi-touch interface and cloud-native application environment of smartphones to a device that takes advantage of the space available on a table, whether that be at work, on your kitchen table, or in a co-working space.”

Features planned for the Android-based phone include HD video conferencing involving up to six parties, call transfer between the vtalk phone and a smartphone, and integration with social networks and corporate applications such as CRM.

Custom apps and integrations can be developed using HTML5, CSS and Javascript.

The vtalk phone has been designed to work with any SIP-compatible VoIP provider, and initially will be certified for use in Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and Europe.

In order to put the phone into production, vtalk is turning to Kickstarter - see page 2.

The company has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $250,000 by 12 December.

The money "will be used primarily to expand manufacturing, distribution, sales and marketing operations," according to company officials.

If the target is reached, pledges of $300 or more will attract a vtalk phone, with delivery expected in late May 2014.

An interesting aspect to the project is that vtalk has committed to local manufacture of the phone.

"Sadly, as a nation we’ve allowed ourselves to believe we can no longer compete as a top-tier manufacturing nation, and that is simply not true," said Mr Bogan.

"We’re looking for opportunities to take advantage of the world-class skills and facilities in Australia’s automotive component sector to help us deliver on our local-manufacture goal.”

vtalk has been in the VoIP hardware and software business since 2004.


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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences, a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies, and is a senior member of the Australian Computer Society.






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