At the MCSM I needed an extra Lync endpoint and I had talked with a customer earlier about the possibility to use a iPod touch as a cheap DECT replacement.
So I wanted to test it and its been a great device for Lync, however I did not test it “live” yet but rather answering some (20+) of my calls (both voice and video) at home from the iPod rather than answering from Lync on the PC.
But I need to test it more with regards to how far I can walk out from my WIFI Access Point and how it handles WIFI roaming between access points (cant test that at home though)
Anyway, so far the call quality is great, video is great when watching on the iPod but sending is not great but well over OK (if not maximized on the receiving side it really looks ok but full screen can be worse, still watchable though).
Since its WIFI only it should really not be that much to worry about I figured, at least not when using it for some controlled testing.
But why not use an iPhone? well, one thing – money! The price on an new iPod is something like 250$ and the use case here is as an extra endpoint for the receptionist or as the title said, to replace DECT phones. And one good thing with the apple stuff is the endless flora of accessories so if you want it rugged, or waterproof or use it as a credit card reader or a scanner in a warehouse etc. you could use it for that as well.
One thing to notice though is that the iPod does only have an built in speaker and not the first speaker like a phone has, that you can put to your ear, so its just the speaker meaning that like the only practical way of using it, is with a Bluetooth headset.
I have used it together with a Plantronics Blackwire C720-M but any Bluetooth headset would work.
So my setup looks like this. The Blackwire is connected to my Windows 8 PC and then connected to the iPod via Bluetooth.
One cool thing with the Blackwire is that it can be disconnected from the pc so if I need to walk away I just keep the headset on and disconnect it at the volume controller.
Another cool thing is to use the iPod with an Apple TV and instead of a Bluetooth headset use a wireless speakerphone like the Plantronics Calisto 620 and then do Airplay mirroring over to a TV / Projector!
Tech specs Blackwire C720-M http://www.plantronics.com/us/product/blackwire-700?skuId=sku6120014
- Talk time: Up to 10 hours, up to 10 days standby time, up to 6 hours listening time (A2DP)
- Wireless frequency: Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR
- Audio performance: Dynamic EQ, microphone frequency response 100 Hz–8kHz optimal for wideband voice telephony (up to 6,800 Hz), hi-fi stereo output from 20 Hz–20 kHz (C720 only), enhanced digital signal processing (DSP), noise-canceling microphone, A2DP
Tech specs iPod Touch: http://www.apple.com/ipod-touch/specs.html
- 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (802.11n 2.4GHz and 5GHz)
- Bluetooth 4.0
- 4-inch (diagonal) widescreen display with Multi-Touch IPS technology
- Retina display
- 1136-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 pixels per inch
- FaceTime HD camera with 1.2MP photos and HD video (720p) up to 30 frames per second
- 5-megapixel iSight camera
- 3.5-mm stereo headphone jack
- Built-in speaker
- Music playback time: Up to 40 hours when fully charged
- Video playback time: Up to 8 hours when fully charged
- Charging times: Fast charge in about 2 hours (80% capacity), full charge in about 4 hours
- AirPlay mirroring and video out to Apple TV (2nd and 3rd generation)
- Video mirroring and video out support: Up to 1080p through Lightning Digital AV Adapter and Lightning to VGA Adapter (adapters sold separately)