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The ClearSky kit's Bluetooth conference phone (shown in Figure 2) appears to have borrowed its three-legged design from Polycom, a company long associated with high-quality conference room phones.

TrendNet ClearSky Conference Phone

Figure 2: TRENDnet ClearSky Conference Phone

In addition to looking very cool, the phone is designed with an embedded monaural microphone in each of the three legs. Echo cancellation software helps keep the audio from sounding like a speakerphone. In the center of the device, there's a speaker, which I think should be louder at full volume.

Above the keypad, there's a 120 X 80 pixel monochrome STN LCD display. The display is used to set the configuration parameters of the phone and to display phone status. When paired with a computer with an active Skype client, the phone polls the computer and displays the contact list and call history information.

Figure 3 shows the Main screen, which displays the menu (phone operation) mode, Skype status, Bluetooth signal strength, volume level, and battery status.

ClearSky Main Screen

Figure 3: ClearSky Main Screen

I'll admit that I was disappointed by the screen. Today, all but the most inexpensive cell phones have color screens. Though the specification sheet indicated that this was a backlit LCD display, the monochrome screen appeared to be illuminated from the right side of the screen with three light sources. Thus, the right side of the display was somewhat brighter than the left side. The configuration parameters did not include contrast control, but the factory setting seemed adequate.

The icon in the upper left corner shows the menu mode, which, in this case is the “Home” or Main screen. The checkmark icon indicates that the phone has established a Skype connection. The antenna icon shows the relative Bluetooth signal strength from the Bluetooth USB adapter. The number in the upper right corner shows the volume level (range 1-8) that was set. Beneath the volume level is the icon indicating the battery's status. In Figure 3 shown above, the Main screen displays a message that there were 3 missed calls.

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