Belkin announced today plans to ship their $149.99 Wi-Fi Phone, a device that enables people to make calls using the Voice over IP (VoIP) service Skype without needing their computer, as long as they’re near Wi-Fi access. It ships in August, 2006 throughout North America, with launches in Europe, Asia and Australia expected thereafter.
The Wi-Fi Phone works wherever there is a Wi-Fi network available that doesn’t require browser-based authentication. The Wi-Fi Phone operates with 802.11b and 802.11g connections. Secured or open Wi-Fi access is supported: Users can utilize Wired Equivalency Privacy (WEP), Wifi Protected Access (WPA) and WPA2-Pre Shared Key (WPA2-PSK) security. The phone is pre-loaded with Skype software.
The phone features a glossy black exterior and a full-color screen, and an industrial design similar to a “brick”-style cell phone. You can use your existing Skype account on the phone, as well.