Internet Telephones

Rohit Khare (
Wed, 29 Jan 1997 18:37:43 -0500

Well, here's a tantalizing tidbit that came over my transom:

> Subject: Internet Appliance numer 3
> Date: Tuesday, January 14, 1997 8:32 AM
> Internet Telephone widget
> IP enabled $79.95
> +1.800.250.5200

And sure enough, though the eventual coevolution of communication devices
makes it certain that someday there will be a telephone handset with IP
packets out the backside instead of an RJ-11, this isn't it. In this case,
once you decipher the marketing spooge about "putting Telepoint between
your computer and your modem", it really turns out to be a replacement for
those RCA-jack speaker and mic lines. In short, it repaces your PC mike and
speakers with any telephone handset you plug into it.

Soon, though, if those cheap motorola multiprotocol embedded processors
take off, we can definitely have cheap handset devices that take voice in
and IP out. All you really have to provide is some signal processing and
one of the many Internet Phone apps in ROM. Better yet, we might be able to
push those IP packets onto a household comunications bus... 110V AC
electrical wiring!

I was thinking about that last weekend, what with those products which
claim to send tv and audio signals over household wiring, we ought to be
able to send digital data, too. Lo and behold, the latest BYTE has a little
blurb about experiments at Wyse and others demonstrating 1Mbps IP. They
predict 10Mbps by year-end. It also uses link encryption so you don't share
packets with the fellow across the street.

So, someday there won't be so many excuses for making smart devices without
net connections...

Rohit Khare

Rohit Khare -- World Wide Web Consortium -- Technical Staff
w: 617/253-5884  --   f: 617/258-5999   --  h: 617/491-5030
NE43-344,  MIT LCS,  545 Tech Square,  Cambridge,  MA 02139