If you've heard of Invoxia before, it's likely because of Triby, the company's fridge-friendly speaker that was the first non-Amazon device with built-in Alexa voice support. But now the French company is back with Voice Bridge, a tiny networking box that accesses your landline from any iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. (You may see the Voice Bridge sold under the name "Swissvoice," a brand that Invoxia acquired in 2013.) The hardware costs $99 or £79, but -- unlike some similar services -- there's no recurring subscription fee. The Voice Bridge doesn't appear to be available in Australia, but the US price converts to about AU$130.
Like a lot of other telephone accessories, Voice Bridge lives in the VoIP space -- voice over internet protocol -- but not in the traditional sense. Usually, a VoIP service replaces a traditional landline, instead routing phone calls over the web. Invoxia's approach is to live alongside an existing landline, and forward those calls to an iOS device. (Android support is in beta.) More uniquely, the Voice Bridge can also allow you to remotely make calls from your mobile device using the landline number. That means, in theory, you could call from an iPhone in Europe via your US-based landline to another US-based number, and avoid any international long distance charges.
Those are some very niche features, and -- if you're already using applications like Skype, WhatsApp or Google Voice -- you can already make calls worldwide ranging from free to cheap. But for those who actually want to route mobile calls through their landline number, the Voice Bridge delivers. And it doesn't cost you anything beyond the one-time hardware purchase.
Using Voice Bridge IRL
In addition to the Voice Bridge hardware (measuring 3.13 inches square, 0.8 inch tall; 7.95cm square, 2cm tall), you get a telephone cable, an ethernet cable and a power adapter (with several interchangeable international plugs included). The Voice Bridge doesn't support Wi-Fi, but since it's just a box you plug in and forget about, we're not holding that against it. You will need to make sure your router and phone jack are within close proximity, however.