When we picture the business desk phone, an old fashioned image of a dated office with old technology can come to mind.
The latest desk phones couldn’t be further from this, offering features such as mobile integration, latest Bluetooth and USB connectivity and HD audio sound quality to name but a few.
In addition to this, the design and ergonomics of the desk phone has changed for the better as well. This is partly due to the "consumerization of IT" where the devices and technologies we use in the home start becoming essential requirements at the office.
Take the rapid adoption of the tablet in the home. Many households now reach for the tablet for basic computing needs rather than the PC or laptop. While the instant-on long battery life and attractive form factor play a part in the acceptance of tablets, the maturity of the touch screen is what really brings them to life.
Think back to when the first touch devices came out – early smartphones, tablets and even PCs were hard to use, the software wasn’t intuitive to touch input and the sensitivity and calibration left most users frustrated at best. Fast forward to today, and we just expect all touch devices to work perfectly, to respond to the lightest of swipes and to be completely natural to use.
Why wouldn’t we want the same for business desk phones? Early desk phones with touch screens used something called a resistive touch screen which relies on the mechanical pressure of a finger or stylus – you have to physically press the touch screen for it to respond. By contrast, a capacitive touch screen uses the electrical properties of the human body to change the properties of the screen’s electrical field. This allows for far more accurate responses to even the lightest touch, and can also support multi-touch gesturing.
It is the capacitive touch screen that is being built into most modern devices nowadays and the latest desk phones are no exception. This means you can swipe through a list of contacts, press and hold to make an edit, make a light touch to signal an action. As a result, training needs are vastly reduced, since everything is as intuitive as using a modern smartphone or tablet. Productivity also improves as the touches are far more accurate and navigating menus can be done with confidence and greater speed. If avatars are also included in the design, then usability improves even further, just tapping on a familiar image rather than having to search through long lists.
This is another example of how the consumerization of IT is arriving in the workplace, and how Mitel is at the forefront of harnessing this phenomena for its latest desk phone series.