Home Phone Tech

Reporter: Lynda Kinkade

The humble landline phone has just turned 100. Once the communication tool of choice, in the last decade the home phone has been enduring a slow, agonising death.

First we went mobile; Got lost in the worldwide web; and found the web could grant us free calls on SKYPE. No wonder that, along with the VCR and Tube TV's, our old landline became obsolete -- until now.

Telstra hope it's T-Hub 2 is a combination of a home phone and a tablet giving users internet access - it is like your old phone but with an added Android operating system. "While you're on a phone call you can play Angry Birds or you can browse Facebook or plan our calendar", said Narelle Charity from the Telstra Experience Store.

Narelle introduced us to the new technology. "Because it's a great quality home phone and it's a tablet, it has access to the internet and all the great features that come with tablets", Narelle said.

Like the T-Hub 1 its all touch screen. You can switch between screens, you can select your favourite applications and then you've got them at the click of a button -- so you can check the weather and the news.

The Quinn family has been trialling the T-Hub 2. Dr John Quinn says, "We've tried it for 3 days and we've been playing with it for 3 days, doing all sorts of things, in various parts of the apartment; using it as browser, sending and receiving emails -- doing all of those things".

"As a transition product I think it's pretty much on the money", said the Gadget Guy, Pete Blasina.

Pete says this could be the comeback that could reassert the home phones presence on the home front. "There is the opportunity here to offer a device that gives people the confidence of using a regular phone but all the features of the online environment at the same time. It is very much a multipurpose device and is more evolutionary than revolutionary", he added.

"Right now, this is the hottest phone in the world", said Tyler MacGee from Samsung.

He says it's not just the home phone getting a makeover. "The Galaxy S3 is our latest flagship smartphone. We launched it at the end of May and we've been very excited by the response we've had from consumers", he added.

Samsung's Galaxy S3 boasts several features that set it apart from the current batch. "I could be doing a text message to someone and start texting but then all of a sudden I decide I just want to call them because its taking too long. By lifting up the phone, I can actually just call and it will call them instead", Tyler said..

"Also when you look at Smartstay, as long as I'm looking at the screen the screen will stay on, it doesn't actually turn off", he added.

"We've actually tied up with Quickflix so you have the ability to basically download movies and TV shows on subscription basis. The phone call is way down on the priority list in terms of what you do in mobile phones, consequently it means a pure landline phone is almost redundant today", Tyler said.