Technology
HFC Canna lets Android call it in from home

The Premise. The landline telephone, once a necessity for any home, has steadily disappeared from homes in the past ten years. While cell phones have practically reinvented themselves monthly, the humble landline has virtually nothing new to offer.

The Product. The HFC Canna is designed to be the first smart landline telephone. Using the latest version of the Android OS, this product combines landline phone, smartphone, and tablet into something that can do much more than just take phone calls. The combination of VoIP and Wi-Fi allow the Canna to do anything an Android device can, which in the context of a home phone means it handles directory services, voicemail, and save contacts, without any added charges to your monthly bill. Compatibility with Skype makes the device equally capable for video calls.

The Pitch. A 9-minute video lays out the most relevant features that the Canna’s Android OS can handle, and includes some demos and testimonials. This information is reiterated and expanded upon as well in the campaign’s explanation, going over all the technical details and the differences between the six available models. The presentation is a little stiff and underwhelming considering these are features we already take for granted on our smartphones, but the product looks smart and capable. HFC needs to raise $50,000 to bulk order the internal components, complete tooling, and get necessary certifications. HFC’s Web site (currently only available in Chinese) has more coverage.

The Perks. The most basic, 7-inch model starts at $199, with the flashiest cordless model coming in at $399 complete with five DECT 6.0 handsets, a 10-inch display, and a quad-core CPU.

The Potential. Other tech giants like Panasonic and Binatone have released similar products (the KX-PRX120 and the SMART66 “phablet” respectively) in 2013, each opting to simulate something more like the smartphone experience. The sturdy display and stand make the HFC Canna a perfect fit for any office or den. Unfortunately, the main challenge with creating a smart home phone at this point is that it’s getting increasingly difficult to justify spending a lot of money on something that’s being used less and less.  At the same time, it’s getting harder and harder to find anybody who even has a landline anymore, so unfortunately this product is being aimed at a market we know is shrinking by the month.