Published on July 3rd, 2016 | by Mohit Jivani0
Voice Bridge connects your landline to your smartphone
Invoxia, the company that made waves first with it’s Alexa Enabled E-Ink Speaker Triby, recently announced the Voice Bridge. A small hub-like device that allows you to answer and make calls through your landline on your smartphone.
The U.S. press did not take too well to the idea; the landline is pretty much an antiquated technology out in the States. But here in the middle east, landline phones are not all that uncommon. We can attribute this to either Etisalat bundling up a landline phone with your internet connection, or unlimited plans on cell phones being belligerently pricey. Either way, it seems people here cannot do away with the landline.
The truth is landlines are not all that evil, you can make free calls for an unlimited duration all throughout the U.A.E. But you can’t help but think it’s a redundant technology when you have your smartphone in your hand and you have to go fetch your cordless landline phone to make a free call.
We got our hands on the Voice Bridge to check for ourselves if it can help remove some of that redundancy.
The Voice Bridge Box comes with all the essentials necessary to get connected and give it a go. The power adapter comes with the most common international plugs, a landline cable is included and so is an Ethernet Cable. It even comes with a handy landline splitter if you want to keep your current landline running at the same time.
The Voice Bridge needs to be connected to your home network via Ethernet Cable. It does not have the ability to connect over WiFi, which is not necessary since most routers have extra Ethernet ports.
Once you are all hooked up, just load up the app and make sure you’re on the same Wifi network on your smartphone. It was extremely hassle-free and it caught me a little by surprise. Most devices that connect over WiFi can be a little more cumbersome to get working, but in this case, the lack of WiFi removes that layer of complexity and forces the easiest connectivity option.
The app interface is very simplistic and some might say it’s a little dated. But it gets the job done pretty well. The Android app is still in beta but gets the basics right, whereas the iOS app gives you a few more details to configure, like the IP address of the bridge.
The voice clarity is on-par with any landline phone call and it also hooks up into your contact list unlike your dumb landline phone. Another problem solved is that of having network dead spots on your cell phone by allowing you to make calls over WiFi through your landline.
Voice Bridge also comes with a feature called FollowMe, wherein once you’re connected, you can also make and receive your landline calls on the go. This feature unfortunately, is currently only available on iOS with no promised dates for Android. So iOS users can enjoy making landline calls over their data plan for free (data costs apply obviously).
The Voice Bridge solves a very small problem for some and a very big problem for some. Coming in at US$ 99 and no local availability, this may seem a little pricey. But for those nagged by the ancient technology of landlines this comes as a breath of fresh air.
Update: FollowMe Features now work on Android as well.