In this article, we look at certain distinctive features of the ShoreTel’s ergonomically designed IP Phones. And yes, ShoreTel IP Phones, also called as ShorePhones are also available in India.
About.com defines ergonomics as the Science of Work. They further add, “In application, ergonomics is a discipline focused on making products and tasks comfortable and efficient for users”
So, when ShoreTel mentioned of the use of ergonomic principles for designing their IP Phones in their website, we were more than curious to explore more about the same. Of course, you can click their website link (given in the previous line) to have a look at the ShorePhones.
The first thing that strikes you when you look at the IP Phones, is the concave shape of the phones that have the buttons in the bottom half and the screen in the upper half so that the screen is visible even when you are dialing a number. Also, since the handset (in a reverse concave shape) is placed on this base, its easier to pick it up as more room (space) is there between the handset and the telephone base. There is even a finger notch at the back of the phone handset so that it becomes easier for a user to hold the handset by pressing against that finger notch.
The black, silver plastic, aluminum/black colors add to the ‘office look’ of the phones. They have even made it easier for visually impaired persons to use the phone by providing necessary indications on the keys (like the indent on the number 5, which makes it easier to identify the numbers around it without looking at the phone keys).
Even the weight of the handsets was chosen carefully to be around 180 grams so that its not too light and not too heavy either. That helps avoid fatigue during long conversations. The displays were built bright enough to see clearly during the day.
What’s a phone without good quality sound? ShorePhones support Wideband Codecs (G.722, BV-32) in addition to supporting the standards based normal codec’s like G.729, G.711, BV-16 etc. Due to the support for high fidelity wide band (50 Hz – 7000 Hz) audio codec, ShoreTel mentions that the audio quality is much better when compared to narrow band (300 Hz – 3400 Hz) communications supported by PSTN lines.
The message waiting indication is kept at the top-right hand side corner of the IP Phones so that it is clearly visible from all directions. The redial button brings up all the recent calls in the screen and hence the users can dial any number that they recently dialed or received.
One more consistent feature across their line is the provision of separate hard keys for all the commonly used call functions like transfer, voice mail, hold, conference, etc. The idea is not to depend on the soft keys alone for such special functions and to make it easily recognizable to the users for faster and easier access.
The address book (directory) has this nice auto completion feature which gives auto suggestions to names when only a few initial characters are typed out, like the ones that are available for the cell phones. The ShorePhones can be removed from one place and attached in any other place by the user themselves, and there is even a provision of setting their own extension number by calling the voice mail extension. All this, without having to take the help of an IT administrator, that is.
So, if you happen to live in India and are looking for ShoreTel IP Phones – ShorePhones in India, do let us know using the contact form so that we can forward the same to our friends in the industry who are dealing with it.
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