Siemens Enterprise Communications on Dec. 11 will introduce a new line of IP phones for its IP PBXes that bring out a number of advances in user interface design. Siemens with the new OpenStage IP phones, which initially support the Session Initiation Protocol, claimed a number of firsts including the first desktop phone that can share information with a mobile phone using Bluetooth; first time a desktop phone can connect to both wired and wireless networks; and the first IP phone line that supports at least five different standards concurrently.
"This is the first serious initiative to update the user interface on the phone since we moved from rotary to the push button [interface] we've had for last 30 years," said Martin Northend, director of portfolio marketing for small and medium enterprises in Munich, Germany. The new OpenStage phones employ an iPod-like design to provide access to much more information on the desktop phone. That includes a touch-sensitive wheel, dubbed the TouchGuide, that provides easy access to a menu-based interface. It also includes the TouchSlider, which controls the handset, ringer and speaker phone volume. Other touch-sensitive pre-set and programmable keys speed access to popular applications such as address book, voice mail and speed dial.