In the comments of my previous post, Ravi Nayar writes:
To clarify on above, ACNâ€™s IRIS 2000 Videophone supports calling any phone number in the world. What makes it special is that there is no long Distance charges to call USA, Canada & Puerto Rico. Furthermore later in 2008 when ACN launches the Videophone in Europe there will be no Long Distance Charges to call Videophones in Europe from North America.
The IRIS 2000 Videophone supports analog phone equipment. You can plug your current home phone into the IRIS 2000. This allows you to have extensions throughout your home to work.
The IRIS 2000 Videophone are made in South Korea.
So effectively the IRIS 2000 video phone is a standard VoIP phone with standard H.263 (i.e. previous generation) video, and not the revolutionary piece of equipment touted by ACN.
What’s not clear from Ravi’s comment is whether the IRIS 2000 supports calling other video phones that use the same protocols. Such capabilities would expose ACN to direct competition, but at least then the ACN would be slightly useful.
Finally, Ravi says that the lack of long distance charges are what makes the ACN video phone “special”. But it also happens to be what makes Skype-Out “special”, PennyTel “special”, Vonage “special”, etc etc.
You can find a reasonably complete list of VoIP providers reviewed at voipreview.org.
Note that ACN is not exactly near the top, and only ranks 3 stars despite obvious attempts by ACN marketers to skew the results.