Several folks have broached the idea of bringing a widget station to the home – a networked device that provides useful info like weather and news updates. And now AT&T is getting into the game. The company that brings you everything IP has just launched HomeManager, a home communication system (er, phone) with a touchscreen display that combines news and weather feeds with telephony features like call logs and visual voicemail. (Via EngadgetHD and 3Screens) For only $299 (!) customers in select cities can get:
- An address book with wireless sync
- Call logs (a la your cell phone)
- Visual voice mail
- Directory information from Yellowpages.com
- Calendar access
- Widgets for news, movies, recipes, sports scores, stock quotes, horoscopes and lottery numbers
- Email functionality with POP3 services
The HomeManager sounds an awful lot like the Verizon Hub Dave and I saw up at Verizon headquarters last year, and unfortunately that product hasn’t gone anywhere in recent days. But maybe AT&T will have more luck. I do believe that combining a widget station with functionality that consumers already expect to have in the home (like phone service) is the way to go.
Check out HomeManager yourself in the 3Screens unboxing video. Skip to around the 3:30 mark for the good bits.