HomeManager developed by AT&T together with Samsung and is basically a landline device with some extras thrown in to make it more attractive. Aside from doing what phones are supposed to, the 7” color touchscreen frame and portable speaker phone combines a calendar with automatic reminders, an address book (with an option to sync the HomeManager with your cell phone), visual voicemail (allowing you to pick and choose which messages you want to listen to first), email and a digital photo frame.
It’s also got what AT&T describes as “Internet Snacking,” Among other things you can access weather info, news, movie show times, previews and reviews, sports scores, stock quotes, recipes, lottery numbers, horoscopes and view interactive maps of YellowPages search results.
The handset and frame also come with built-in intercoms so you can talk to other rooms in the house or bug your family while they’re trying to watch telly. Despite all the additional functions, one of the features we actually did think was pretty cool was that it can initiate calls over regular line or VoIP, which could be a major selling point for this device.
In recent years more and more people have been ditching the landline in their home in favor of a completely wireless solution. In a world where pre-teen girls have their own private line and adults can have a BlackBerry for work and a separate handset for at home, there really isn’t any need for a home line. Why bother an entire house when you can reach the person you actually want to talk to on their cell phone? AT&T is no doubt hoping that the HomeManager will give customers enough of what they need and convince them to get or keep their landline.
HomeManager will only be available in seven markets to start with: Chicago; Atlanta; Austin, Texas; San Antonio; Houston; Dallas; San Francisco; San Diego and Los Angeles.