Earlier this year, Verizon stepped into the Voice over IP business with the Verizon Hub, which had far loftier ambitions than simply replacing your landline.
With weather and time widgets, a calendar system, traffic information, a family bulletin board, and even support for streaming video clips from V Cast, the Verizon Hub promised to be a one-stop-shop communications center for your home. We admit we were intrigued when we heard about it, and we even thought it had quite a bit of promise in our review of the device.
Unfortunately, the Verizon Hub just wasn't successful. The hardware was expensive--it was $200 for the Hub and $80 for additional cordless handsets--and the service was an additional $35 a month. Perhaps there was a failure in marketing the product to the mainstream. In any case, Verizon has stopped selling the Verizon Hub. A Verizon representative we spoke to assured us they will still provide service and support to existing Hub customers.
But maybe the real question is whether the Hub could have succeeded in the first place. In a time where we can replicate much of the same functionality with a laptop and a cell phone, is something like this even necessary? Perhaps there's room in the future for a convergence device--a touch-screen tablet, maybe? Let us know what you think about the Hub or "kitchen computers" in general.