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Verizon Hub reinvents the home phone

Touchscreen web home phone rings in changes
Touchscreen web home phone rings in changes

It's only a matter of time before touchscreens find their way onto everything with a battery. Yes, including electric toothbrushes.

The latest victim is the home phone, with the launch of the broadband-connected Verizon Hub VOIP-phone. This gadget collects together a family calendar, your contacts and web 'widget' browsing in one easy-to-navigate finger-fest.

The Hub will provide local traffic and weather updates, give directions to neighbourhood locations (even sending turn-by-turn routes to your mobile phone) and preview trailers from local cinemas.

Remote access

It also has visual voicemail, text messaging and PIM contact/calendar features that can all be accessed and managed remotely via a website.

And when it's not being used as a miniature static netbook, the Hub functions as a digital photo frame.

There are no details yet on the tech specs of the Hub - the screen looks to be about 7-inches in size - but Verizon has confirmed that it will work with any (wired) broadband service in the United States.

The Hub will be available from 1 February and will cost $200 (£145) with a $35 (£25) monthly contract that includes free minutes and texts.