HP Gets Smart

HP today announced its new smartphone, the HP iPAQ 500 Series Voice Messenger, that brings some real smarts to the world of smartphones.

The GSM/WiFi voice and data device is designed for business users rather than teenagers. It runs Microsoft Windows Mobile 6 and is geared for hands-free operation with a speech interface called “Voice Commander.” This lets the iPAQ replace the QWERTY keyboard with a familiar telephone keypad.

One of its most unique features is a voice-reply-to-email feature that eliminates the typing from answering email, something long overdue in the PDA world. This will clearly make mobile email more popular.

The iPAQ also integrates with any SIP-Based IP-PBX to eliminate the need for wired phones at those desks we never spend much time at anymore.

For IT managers, the gizmo provides over-the-air device-management capabilities for remotely managing security settings and applications, data, and corporate networks. This is a useful feature for dealing with lost or stolen phones.

The HP iPAQ will be available in the Spring of this year through HP directly and some dealers. A data sheet is available but HP hasn’t released any pricing. Some are saying the device will be in the $300-$400 range.