In an attempt to infuse some wireless ‘mojo’ to wireline home phones, Verizon will soon release a software update for the Verizon Hub which among other things, provides an app market. Verizon will be offering a variety of apps, or widgets, including Rhapsody music streaming, a Twitter widget, and a Flickr screensaver. But as Gizmodo points out, the Hub (which is really an OpenFrame platform made by OpenPeak) is built on Linux, and will soon be opened up to the developer world for any number of apps. Sound familiar?
The Verizon Hub is an experiment. It’s one that is being tried by a variety of others including AT&T (Home Manager), Embarq (eGo), and Comcast. By injecting some wireless and web 2.0 feel to home phones, service providers are probing to see if customers see enough value in them to not forsake them for wireless alone. Whatever the outcome, these experiments demonstrate the future of in-home communications. That future will involve broadband/IP connectivity into the home, empowering a variety of applications and services. We’ll have to see if the Hub or some future iteration of it makes the final cut.