How do you revive a dying technology? Put in a low-powered processor, add a touchscreen and install Android in it. At least, that's what Cloud Telecomputers is doing with their Glass Platform, an Android-powered desk phone.
With large businesses invested in massive landline infrastructures, I doubt it's really going away soon. So why not throw in a functional computer to spice it up a bit? Instead of just making and receiving calls, the Glass Platform lets you read your Outlook email, dial directly from your contacts list, connect to your mobile wirelessly and do a host of other things you normally expect an Android-powered MID to be capable of.
Details of the device they're currently showing off (not the final first product) include an 8-inch touchscreen display, an internally-modified Android flavor, Bluetooth, HD audio, web connectivity and built-in tight integration with many existing services (e.g. PBX systems, Windows and Mac PCs, various web-based services). Like any Android installation, it can run apps from the Marketplace, turning an otherwise boring product into a highly-extensible machine.
Putting Android in a desktop phone (and, honestly, any home electronics) makes perfect sense. The growing plethora of apps for the platform, from messaging to VoIP to productivity suites to games, instantly gives the device tons of capabilities. Since it's a full-featured OS, you can develop custom software for it too, particularly ones that can interface with the company's existing systems and databases.
Cloud Telecomputers expects the first Glass Platform products to be available during the first quarter of 2010, with prices ranging between $600 and $700.