The phone comes in two pieces, (much like other cordless phones). The earset weighs only 1.1oz (including the lithium polymer battery, smaller than a pack of gum), and only has a single button on it. The base station plugs into your analog phone line, and connects to your computer via USB. The included software runs a custom copy of IBM's ViaVoice speech engine to interpret your voice commands; right now the software only runs on Windows.
The software integrates into Outlook, ACT! and Windows Address Book. At boot-up, the software looks at the list of contacts, and loads their names into a custom speech dictionary. If you want to call John Public, you press the button on the earset and say "Call John Public at work." The software matches your speech to John's name, looks up John's information, finds his Work number, and dials it for you. (Very cool). Dialing by numbers is done by pressing the button, and saying "Dial" and announcing the digits you want to dial, (i.e. "Dial one eight-hundred five five five one two one two").
All the other telephone functions are also handled via voice command, (answer, hang up, flash, mute, hold, volume, etc).
Right now the software only works with telephony functions, but they have just released an add-on package that lets you use the phone as a wireless headset for your computer, (for voice-dictation, IP Telephony, other voice-recognition software, etc). They say they want to extend the software to handle home-automation and entertainment, (can anyone say voice-controlled X10?!?)
The phones are priced at $300, which is targeted at the business crowd. It's a little steep for home use.
I happened to find a deal on mine, and have been using it for about a month now. I work out of my home for a software company on the other side of the country. It is very handy to be able to talk to my co-workers simply by saying their name. The size and form factor are also very nice. I can wear it around all day, and am able to take a call from anywhere near the house, (office, back deck, breakfast table, neighbor's house, changing a diaper, etc).
I know this doesn't have much to do w/ Linux, but the geek in me couldn't keep my mouth shut! I thought this might be an interesting story, simply for the application of voice technology and miniaturization.
Slashdot welcomes reader-submitted hardware reviews.