'PhotoPhone' shows you who's calling

GE's new land line gives digital frames a purpose in life.

GE

Ah, the elusive video phone. We've been hearing about that miraculous invention since we were kids, seeing prototypes displayed at Disneyland's house of the future. But despite an occasional product on the market, visual telephony has yet to take off for the masses.

So the closest thing we may be able to get is something like the new "GE PhotoPhone," first seen at CES in January. Although it doesn't stream video, the device does at least display digital images of whomever is ringing based on a visual form of caller ID. And when no one is on the phone, it still serves as a 7-inch picture frame in either black or silver finish.

No, it's not the video phone we've been pining for since childhood, but it does bring some purpose to the otherwise-useless concept of digital frames .

About the author

    Mike Yamamoto is an executive editor for CNET News.com.

     

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