Ooma Intros Bizarre Phone-Sharing ServiceJul 19th, 2007 | By James Lewin | Category: Podcasting Hardware, Podcasting Software, Strange
A new voice-over-IP (VoIP)¬†startup, Ooma, has launched that hopes to stir up the phone industry by combining Internet phone calls with peer-to-peer phone line sharing. It connects to your local phone line and to your broadband Internet, routing your long-distance calls over the Internet.
The service also uses your phone line and the phone lines of other Ooma users to route calls out from the Internet to the plain old telephone system. By turning your phone line into an access point that anybody can use, Ooma saves the cost of building out a large network.
“An ambitious and long awaited new consumer VOIP startup – Ooma – launches on Thursday morning,” writes Mike Arrington in a gushy take on the new gear at TechCrunch: “Much like Vonage and the ill-fated SunRocket, Ooma allows consumers to use their normal phones to make and receive telephone calls, but at drastically reduced prices.”
VoIP is an important technology to follow for podcasters, because it offers a cheap or free way to do interviews with people anywhere in the world. However, at $400, Ooma looks more like an expensive way to share your phone line with strangers than a useful tool.
Update:¬†Uncov has an interesting angle on the TechCrunch/GigaOm/VentureBeat CrunchJuice lovefest for Ooma.