Look Out Skype, Here Comes Ooma

Straight out of Silicon Valley, and perhaps a Skype Exec's worst nightmare, a new startup calling itself Ooma is planning to offer a $399 device that will allow users to make unlimited free calls.  Unlike Skype, which made its debut on computers before moving on to telephone-like devices, Ooma is simply a box that will sit between your phone and your broadband connection.  Here's how it works:

“Users plug a white machine smaller than a macaroni-and-cheese box between their home's broadband connection and a primary telephone. They can connect a secondary phone using an Ooma "Scout," to cost $39 each. The system relies on a patent-pending software code, but executives won't provide what they consider proprietary details.

When Ooma users pick up the phone, they hear a special dial tone. But they dial normally, and they retrieve voice mail by pushing a button on the Ooma Hub. Users pay for international calls online with a credit card.”

The device may yet face an uphill battle to win customers who presently tend to shy away from alternative phone services/providers.  Considering that SunRocket went under just a short while ago, that's not an entirely unjustified response from customers.
Tags:  Skype, Ooma, here, sky, COM, K