I've worked remote or had remote direct reports since 1994 so communication devices are something that are not an option but critical to my job. Plus I love new technology so the new stuff I tend to gravitate toward are things the meet both of these needs. So far this year I've gotten a couple of new toys that I thought I would share.
A few months ago a bought the new Jabra Freeway in-car Bluetooth speakerphone system. I have a car that didn't come with an integrated phone system and I've been using a Jawbone headset since they were first released years ago. But that all has changed. The Freeway is an excellent unit, with dual microphones allowing for ambient noise cancellation and a three-speaker listening device with plenty of pop. Plus you can route the sound to your FM radio if you want to share the call via your audio system. At around $115 it's not the cheapest, but it's a great investment if you spend a lot of time in your car taking calls.
The home office needed a new phone system so we did the normal churn of walking though all of the options. We ended up with the Panasonic KX-TG4644. Granted, it's been quite a few years since I've bought an office or home phone, but I've been just blown away by the performance and features of this unit. It seamlessly integrates with my CenturyLink voicemail system, has great sound clarity and range, and also allows for use of up to two cell phones via Bluetooth connection. Plus, this little gem will work during a power outage, drawing power from the phone unit in the base while you can use any of the other three extensions. At around $120 it's on the higher end, but I've been extremely happy with it and expect it to meet my needs for years to come.
Very excited about the potential I'm hearing about the iPhone5. While speed increases are always welcome, the potential of expanded voice recognition is something I'm really looking forward to. With the increase in the use of text messaging for business, the ability to speak a text is a pretty cool feature and will keep your eyes on the road. Don't know if that feature will be backward compatible with my iPhone4, but I see a 5 in my future.