Special Purpose Phones

Entries and links here help people find VoIP phones for specific purposes not covered elsewhere. The focus is on the application, not the base technology. More diverse categories here will help people deploy IP phones in more places. If you need a phone for a specific purpose not listed, add a new heading or explantion. The next person along may know of just such a phone. Currently users have to revert to analog phones and ATA's to operate in these environments, but then miss out on many VoIP features, plus the innovation in VoIP that could come from these applicatons. This list is more focused around wired hard phones, but some softphones or wireless phones may fit in some categories.

Kitchen or Wall phones

Phones designed to be mounted vertically, with sturdy, reliable brackets and screens and buttons angled the correct way. Handsets reliably docking in vertical cradles. Some degree of moisture resistance.
  • Add link here...

Freezer or chiller capable phones

Able to handle condensation on emerging and harsh cold found in commercial freezers or polar regions. Automatic variable volume based on background noise level. Noise cancellation speakers.
  • None yet linked...

Miniature phones

Small phones for embedding in or on things
  • None yet linked...

Flat phones

Phones using new thin technologies for easy storage, mounting and transport.
  • None yet known...

Night phones

Phones with features designed for night time use, like red lighting, all lighting off, quiet ring, no noise on key press.
  • None yet linked...

Special Needs phones

Phones in this category might offer large, clear displays, loud volume, large clear buttons, braille and other useability features.

The “PAV” or “Public Access Videophone” With a single push button, a “Hearing Impaired” person can get sign-language video interpreter immediately on screen. This "payphone" looking device can make video and phone calls using broadband connections without any traditional phone lines. Incorporating RJ45, Wireless or Wi Fi, the unit uses VoIP (Voice over IP) technology to transport video and audio directly over the internet. It has full email and web browsing capabilities as well as traditional TTY and TRS (IP Relay) for additional hearing impaired capabilities. With the addition of the “Video-Email” feature, this phone is perfect for airports, hotels, shopping malls and destination resorts.

Marine phones

Designed for use in rugged, salt water maritime environments.
  • None yet known...

Heavy phones

Need a phone that will stay where it's put? Hopefully someone has made one and can provide a link.
  • None yet linked...

Test phones

Oh for a phone that could help me debug my system. Lots of status lights, verbose syslog, lots of debug modes and programmable buttons, voltage levels and meter, LAN tester, hands free, verbal readout debug, rapid profile change by library, and a lid to wrap up my cables and protect it in my toolbox. Telecom technicians have had them for years, why should VoIP tech's miss out! Give me the tools to do my job more effectively!
  • None yet linked...

Battery phones

No I don't have PoE, but my power point is broken / missing / wrong voltage. All I have is wired ethernet! Work for me phone.
  • None yet linked...

Kiosk phones

Generally with limited keys, clear instructions, solid construction, no access to cable ports. For airports, taxi calls, hotels.
  • None yet linked...

Field phones

For use in the outdoors, such as staging posts, building sites, emergency response, command centres. Possibly green, waterproof, rugged, loud, reliable, tie down and hang up hooks, cable reel winders, screwlock plugs.
  • None yet linked...

Long life phones

Phones designed to be installed and relied upon. In silos or communication towers or outposts that are seldom visited, but when they are, they have to work.
  • None yet linked...

Bling phones

Bright colours, flashy lights, cool ring tones...
  • None yet linked...

Utility phones

Equipment that does other things properly besides being a phone. Fax. Radio. Clock. Alarm. Printer. Till. Furniture. Speakers. CD/MP3/DVD Player. Television. Screen. Webcam. Projector. Laser. Door lock. Car. Remote control. Fridge. eBook. eNewspaper. Airplane seat. Toy. Model. Router. Switch. UPS. Door. Wall. Artwork. ePictureFrame.
  • None yet linked...

Busy phones

Phones that can cope with the badest, meanest, busiest taxi dispatcher in New York or Karachi. Instant multi line, no answer or hangup lag, real time hook flash.
  • None yet linked...

Multi lingual phones

Phones that easily adapt to non-latin number facings, different national call preferences, firmware languages, perhaps even in real time based on caller or originator.
  • None yet linked...

Secret phones

Phones that are good at spying, espionage, secret squirrel, subversion, surveillance.
  • None yet linked...

Cryptone - encrypted phone system
CrypTone alleviates the risk of calls being intercepted and eavesdropped (man in the middle)
CrypTone encrypts the phone call RTP and signaling in both directions, end-to-end, implementing Triple DES encryption standard.
CrypTone is specially designed to utilize the IPsec VPN technology in order to provide an effective way to secure VoIP calls.


Front phones

Phones that don't look ugly from the back. Phones than can sit on the chief executive's beautiful leather desk without a spew of wires and plugs hanging out the back / side
  • None yet linked...

Handsfree phones

Phones that support handsfree operation, whether by good microphones, bluetooth, bone helmet mics, handsets without wires, satelite wired mics and speakers or other technologies.
  • None yet linked...

Old phones

Phones that look and act exactly like an analog phone. For those who refuse to change. They need not even know. Matching dial tones and hookflash characteristics. No screen, discrete plugs, no unsual noises. Specially for those unteachable sort of people.
  • None yet linked...

Foot phones

Phones that can be operated by foot or mounted in the floor. For stand up operators, bank tellers, bouncers, disabled people,
  • None yet linked...

Automotive phones

Phones made to be installed in cars, trucks, caravans, campervans, tractors and connected to onboard ethernet
  • None yet linked...

Secure phones

Whether from baddies on the ethernet or the call, phones in this category help keep your call, your presense and your access codes secure. Encryption, firewalls, scrambling, bio metrics, tokens, destruct on open and more. These phones should be evaluated by those in the need to know.

Plinth phones

For restaurants and hospitals. Like a champagne stand. Can be discretly wheeled to the table / customer / injured person / breakdown / staff member / cabinet for easy use. Large clear mute button and indicator.

Sharing phones

Phones made for two people. Parents and children. Teachers and pupils. Friends and family. Two conventional handsets.

Childrens and Teenagers phones

Calling restrictions, alerts, caller screening, time limits, time of day profiles, skinable colours. Things to appeal to users and their parents.

Robot phones

Phones that come to you. Like auto roaming vacuum cleaners. Voice activated or heat seeking?

Ultra low cost phones

Specially stripped out features to reduce cost for mass deployment in emergencies or impoverished areas

Emergency Phones

Autodialers and specialty notification phones including emergency alerts and medi-alert phones.

  • Emergency Notification system from Send Word Now offers emergency phone services to large companies, universities, and other organizations needing to reach large numbers of people in an emergency.

Long range phones

Phones than cope with the limits of wired or wireless ethernet or A/VDSL , high packet loss, frequent disconnects, unreliable ISPs, low voltage, lightening, badly behaved switches and routers.

Different ethernet phones

VoIP phones that natively support one or more of IPv6, gigabit, token ring, satellite, SNA, DCC, RS-485, Current loop, 10Base2, Fibre, Modbus, Ethernet over Power, smoke signals, morse code, jungle drums, carrier pigeons and other transports. And do it well.

Non-human phones

Phones for delivering audio from or to non-human sources, such as animals, machinery, spaces & places, audio equipment, alarms, archives, very high or low audio frequency, other spectrum and other unusual requirements.

Kitset phones

Phones that come as a pcb or bag of parts, so that electronics type people can integrate them into their project.

Modular phones

Phones that have pluggable hardware modules. For instance the audio, power, ethernet, keypad, core and display might all be removeable or connected to a common bus or backplane or connector set. So the same base phone can be used at an organisation in a variety of configurations - small display, large display. Also so developers can experiment with replacing just the piece they are expert in, and leverage the other parts.

Open source phones

Open source hardware phones, with complete schematics, firmware source and using readily available and open chipsets and ICs.

Rental phones

Phones specifically configured to short term rental applications, such as hostels or guest centres.

Traveller's phones

Phones designed to work no matter who's ethernet they are plugged into. For travelling sales people, tourists. Strong network discovery capabilities, and robust firewall traversal, auto detect and auto report, notify on insufficient bandwidth.

No RFI emission phones

Phones that emit no radio frequency interference or sparks, through careful design and selection of components. For use in laboratories, fuel depots, ammunition stores.

PCI hard phones

Phones that have most of the hardware of an external phone, but use the host PC for housing and power. Probably have their own ethernet port for connectivity, and USB port for a handset. Integrated into or isolated from the pc depending on the level of skill of the driver developer. Like a soft phone done in hardware. Good for incompatible, underpowered or required network isolated PCs.

Handset phones

Phones where all the electronics and display are built into the handset, the bit you pick up.

Retro fit kits

Hard phones designed to retro fit and refurbish older IP or analogue phones. Like an ATA, but more integrated, and requiring installation. Good for organisations with thousands of not worn out legacy phones.

Luxury phones

Built for luxury homes, hotels, super yachts. Fine attention to look and feel and materials. Reliable operation. Secure operating modes, and features like last number redial instant forget for privacy.

Bulk packaged phones.

Phones delivered for mass deployment. No excess packaging per phone, no manual, CD, cable per phone. Shipped in reuseable 100 pack boxes. For large scale rollouts without generating the waste.

Square or Rectangular phones

For those that hate curves. For those who want to pile things on top of their phone.

Non toxic phones.

Phones with no offensive materials. No off-gassing plastics, no acrylo or cyano derivitives in capacitors, no teflon feet or pads, no PVC in cables or joiners. No plastic packaging. Might use bio degradeable or organically sourced plastics. Natural or unbleached colours. Potentially recyclable, easily to dis-assemble, end of life instructions built in.

Low power phones.

Phones that use the least possible amount of energy.

Multi homed phones

Phones with two or more ethernet ports that can maintain multiple identities simultaneously. Different IP's, different numbers, different networks, different profiles.

Difficult user phones

Phones that provide features that make them easy to support for new or stubborn users. Features like real time remote echo of key presses, remote screen display, backspace or undo capability. Side channel for audio coaching from helpdesk while the user intiates their call. Alert reporting when the user is having difficulty. Real time remote logging of messages seen, keys pressed. Like VNC for phones. Great for reducing the grief of large scale role outs. Move DUPs around as users get used to the new system, and new departments are added to the program.

No acronym phones.

Phones that never display acronyms or cryptic messages in their buttons, screens or guides. Phones that not only describe the error, but advise what to do next about it.

Directory phones

Phones that implement decent full screen calling directory lists. Features that enable users to quickly find the number they wish to call from a large list. Integration into white pages or LDAP directories. Clear, intuitive interfaces.

Distress phones

Phones that help people get help promptly when they need it. Panic buttons, multiple simultaneous emergency call outs. Possibly an audible alarm. Relay contacts for initiating larger alarms.

Knob phones

Some people don't like or can't press push buttons. A phone laid out more like an audio control desk, with slides or rotary knobs for controlling all functionality. Especially useful for non-plastic other material or hand made phones, where matching inset buttons can be difficult.

Wiki phones

Phones that encourage the user to enhance functionality or documentation or development by soliciting feedback, and making it easy to accept or incorporate the feedback into current or future functionality.

GUI button phones

Phones that use the new Russian made number pad where each button is an icon type LCD.

Blog and Podcast phones

Phones that make it easy to capture and post audio or text to speech content, and publish it with the minimum of fuss or technical know how.

Online phones

Phones that use online services to leverage their functionality. Link to relevant online services like google, google maps, ERPs, call recording services, toll saving services, call routing services, broadcast services, archive services, voice to text services, IVR generator services, gateway and skin to Telco voice mail services.

Skinnable phones

Phones that can easily change their external appearance, without excess parts or fiddliness or waste.

Promotional phones

Phones that incorporate features to promote themselves or a product or service. For trade shows or exhibitions, retail, train stations.

Left handed phones

Phones the other way around. Keypad on the left, handset on the right.

Ring tone phones

Phones that have huge libraries of ring tones, and wide ranging control over them. Like icon or screen saver collections.

Other material phones

Phones externally made of other materials. Wood, ceramics, marble, metals, glass, rock, kevlar, fabric, other elements.

Heater phones

Phones that warm (or cool) the hands of the user, depending on how cold their hands are.

See also

Limit your phone to a few categories. No phone can match all the above requirements, so dont optimistically list your phone under too many segments, or add a see also link. People will search and synonym for what they are looking for.
Created by: davemc50, Last modification: Thu 17 of Nov, 2011 (20:26 UTC) by admin
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