Skype, SMC Networks and FON have combined their technologies to create a phone that can make Internet calls through a computer. The phone can be used with any open Wi-Fi access point. The $159.99 package includes the SMC Wi-Fi Phone for Skype (WSKP100), FON's wireless router “La Fonera” and Skype Voicemail for a year. It also includes 500 SkypeOut minutes that enable calling outside the Skype network, augmenting free calls among Skype subscribers. Buying a SkypeIn phone number makes it reachable from any phone.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.