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12/1/2010
08:40 AM
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Speakerphone Works With Skype Conferences

Skype has been steadily making its way from a consumer to a small and medium business communications service. Consequently, add-ons, such as ClearOne's CHATAttach 160 speakerphone, have begun to sprout up.

Skype has been steadily making its way from a consumer to a small and medium business communications service. Consequently, add-ons, such as ClearOne's CHATAttach 160 speakerphone, have begun to sprout up.ClearOne's CHATAttach 160 is designed for employees using Skype audio or video conferences. The speakerphone includes two CHAT 160 pods, two USB cables, and a power adapter.

The product supports a single employee or groups of coworkers. The system connects to laptops or PCs via a USB port and does not require any special drivers. Users can control call volume, including a mute function. Each pod works with three microphones and the CHATAttach Expansion Kit that connects two CHAT 160 pods together. The product includes features to address audio conferencing interference issues, such as echo, ambient noise, fidelity, level control, and microphone priority.

The CHATAttach 160 is a bit expensive: its list price is $849.99, so small and medium businesses may find it difficult to cost justify. However, the emergence of the device underscores the growing use of Skype among small and medium businesses. Because companies have been relying on it more as an auxiliary or even a primary communications option, a need for more business focused functionality has emerged. ClearOne is one of a growing number of vendors trying to focus on that niche.

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