A New Kind of Eye-Phone

ZyXEL Communications, whose clever networking connectivity and infrastructure products we’ve long admired, this week announced a video camera unlike any other we’ve heard of.

The ZyXEL V750W is an IP-networked device using IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) connectivity that is also an IP telephone. Each one comes with its own embedded phone number.

This development will add a new dimension, to say the least, to the rapidly growing popularity of remote video monitoring for security, safety, and myriads of other applications.

The V750W uses SIP signaling to actuate controls on the camera, allowing an owner or manager to call the camera and pan, tilt, or zoom the lens to change or fine-tune the image and/or actuate the device’s embedded LED lamps for illumination in poor lighting conditions—all from a remote location “anywhere in the world,” as the company’s marketing materials put it.

Moreover, the phone/camera can initiate calls itself—notifying the owner/manager or perhaps the local police when it detects an intrusion or other event worthy of concern.

But the V750W also functions as a regular two-way VoIP phone.

“Now it’s possible to not only keep on eye on your child or elderly parent using your Web-enabled phone, you can also talk to the nanny or nurse using the same device,” explained ZyXEL vice president of sales and marketing, Munira Brooks. “The applications for a two-way communication device like this are unlimited, and so are the opportunities of new value-added services for service providers.”

Indeed, ZyXEL seems to strongly feel that the V750W camera/phone will catch on as a service offering in the ITSP world, and plans to actively market it to carriers, cable providers, and other VoIP providers.

The V750W SIP camera functions on existing VoIP infrastructure, eliminating the need for capital expenditure. The unit is self-provisioning, making it a no brainer for service providers to deploy the product at customer premises.

ZyXEL has not made pricing and availability public as yet.

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