The report goes on to name Verizon as a leader in SDP deployment with the launch of its iobi Home. iobi can be accessed in three different ways: through the iobi Home client software on a personal computer with an Internet connection (high speed or dial-up), through the iobi Home Web site on any computer, or by phone, via a voice-recognition portal. And its intention, according to a Verizon press release, is to let consumers be in two places at once (if it could just put eyes in the back of users’ heads, now every busy parent’s hopes could be answered).
For example, say the local elementary school calls your home to say your child isn’t feeling well, but you’re at the office—with iobi Home, a message can pop up on your office computer, allowing you to seamlessly transfer the call to your office phone. Say you’re at home on the phone and call-waiting beeps; through a window on your laptop, iobi can show you who it is, as well as offer you the option to redirect the call to another number, send it to voicemail, or play a pre-set message of your choice. Say you’re on the road and away from your computer—through a toll-free call, a user can manage all of her iobi Home features, such as voicemail, calendaring and messaging.
iobi Home is currently available for $7.95 per month in the five New England states and, as of last week, the five boroughs of New York. Presently, Verizon’s gaze is set on the consumer market, though Gartner’s Rich writes, “We also expect to see an offer targeting the business market in the near future. Ultimately, iobi will function as a “user experience wrapper” for Verizon’s service portfolio, focused on improving productivity and quality of life.”
As for the challenges that come with being an early mover, they will, Rich anticipates, be “decidedly complex but not insurmountable.”