History and Future of the magicJack VoIP Device
Magic Jack Original, 2007
The magic Jack was originally created in 2007 by VocalTec Communications, Limited. The product, although it utilized similar technology that was already in existence, revolutionized the way people made phone calls. Rather than utilizing standard telephone lines, the magic Jack used a person’s high speed internet connection in order to make and receive phone calls. The device itself contained all of the necessary hardware required to make and receive calls, making it extremely easy to set up for just about anyone.
The device was designed to plug into the USB port of a person’s computer, as well as a standard telephone jack. Running through a high speed internet connection, which was required, the magic Jack allowed individuals to make unlimited local and long distance calls anywhere in the United States and Canada through a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) network. Users could also make international phone calls for a low per-minute rate. At its initial purchase, users could buy the magic Jack for $40. This cost included the magic Jack unit, all of its necessary hardware, and the first year of service. After the first year, each additional year of service was only $19.95.
Because of its ease of use, low cost, and convenience, the magic Jack was highly touted by a variety of magic well known publications, including PC Magazine.
magicJack Plus, 2011
Approximately four years of the release of the original magic Jack, VocalTec released the follow-up to the device, the magicJack Plus. While the magicJack Plus worked in many of the same ways as the original magic Jack, it no longer required a computer in order to work. The magicJack Plus is approximately the same size the original magic Jack unit, very small and lightweight, about the size of a USB flash drive.
The magicJack Plus features a pair of technology upgrades over the original magic Jack unit. First, with the addition of Wide Band Voice Technology (also known as HD Voice), voice quality has been significantly increased compared to the magic Jack. The second significant technology upgrade is called Echo Control, which eliminates the whistling and echoing that can sometimes be present when making calls over a VoIP telephone network. In combination with each other, the pair of upgrades provides voice quality that rivals, and is sometimes better, than the voice quality provided by landline telephone service providers.
The magicJack Plus, as opposed to being plugged into the USB port of a computer, is plugged directly into a high speed modem or router. The magicJack Plus no longer requires the use of a computer because it features its old built-in CPU and RAM. This enhanced processing power allows the device to function as a powerful stand-alone unit. Additionally, it adds eliminates the inconvenience of having to turn on the computer in order to make or receive phone calls. This can also help reduce a person’s utility bills, since a computer does not have to constantly be on in order to get calls.
Installing the magicJack Plus is very easy. First, the magicJack Plus is plugged into a high-speed modem or router (the magicJack Plus will not work with dial-up Internet connections), and into the device’s power supply. Next, a standard phone line is plugged into the magicJack Plus device. Immediately after this simple and quick installation, magicJack Plus users can begin making and receiving high quality phone calls that rival that of standard landline telephone service providers.
The magic Jack Plus allows its users to make and receive unlimited local and long distance calls anywhere in the United States and Canada. Just like the previous model, the magicJack Plus can also make international calls at a low, per-minute cost. Additionally, while travelling overseas, magicJack Plus users can use the device to make free calls back to the United States and Canada. Furthermore, calls between two magic Jack Plus devices are free from anywhere in the world.
Additional services provided by the magicJack Plus are many of the same services that are provided by standard landline telephone service providers. These include voicemail services, call forwarding, and call waiting. Customers were also allowed to keep their same phone number.
The cost of the magicJack Plus was slightly higher than that of the original magic Jack. It can be purchased at an initial cost of $69.95. This price includes the magicJack Plus, a USB extender cable, the device’s AC adapter power supply, an Ethernet cord, and the device’s first year of service. After that, it costs just $29.95 per year for high quality phone service. However, users were also provided with an incentive to purchase five years at one time, at a discounted rate of just $99.95 (less than $20 per year).
magicJack WiFi, 2012-2013
The most recent upgrade to the magic Jack series is the magicJack WiFi. This device, scheduled to be released in the final quarter of the 2012 year, is VocalTec’s most advanced VoIP device to date. The magic Jack WiFi is intended to be designed with a WiFi chipset that will allow the device to be even more convenient to use than previous magic Jack units.
In addition to the WiFi chipset, a new chip on the device is designed to add several new functions to the magicJack WiFi, compared to the magicJack Plus. First, the chip adds a dedicated high-speed loca bus for WiFi capabilities. The device is also to be designed with an LCD panel display, a video compression engineer, automatic audio gain control for the highest voice quality ever provided by a VoIP device, a power saving sleep mode for additional energy savings over magicJack Plus, and double dock DDR memory. The device may even be able to be used to receive WiFi to receive Video on Demand. In the early testing phases of the magicJack WiFi device, the magic Jack WiFi delivered exceptionally clear voice quality.
Like previous magic Jack units, the magicJack WiFi is most likely to be about the same size (approximately the size of a USB flash drive). Additionally, it will most likely provide the same features that have been included with the device, like voicemail, three-way calling, call forwarding, call waiting, and free local and long distance calls anywhere within the United States and Canada. Users who switch will also likely be able to keep their current phone number. The magicJack WiFi will be the easiest device of any generation of magic Jack device yet. All the user has to do to make and receive calls is plug the magicJack WiFi into a power supply.
There will likely be a large market for the magicJack WiFi, as VocalTec expects to include the small business market. The magic Jack WiFi may be designed to accommodate up to forty different phones. This can provide businesses with hundreds of dollars of savings each and every month. This is especially convenient in times where many small businesses are struggling to stay profitable.
With the magicJack WiFi unit, it is clear that VocalTec Communications continues to adapt to the changing market for Voice Over Internet Protocol telephone services. With the ever-expanding availability of WiFi, the company clearly saw this as an ideal opportunity to increase the convenience of their previously successful VoIP devices. The magicJack WiFi is anticipated to be the largest market acceptance for VoIP devices ever, and more and more individuals and businesses discover the convenience and high quality service that can be provided by the magicJack WiFi.