Some mucking about with EQO
I have to say that after playing with this application, I think I have found a use for Skype. Though I do have other ways of accomplishing more or less the same thing, I still think this is a neat idea. Carolyn Schuk did an article for Voxilla on EQO (pronounced Echo). When I read about this, I wanted to give this a shot. Unfortunately, while I have a boatload of phones, none of them were functional and compatible with the EQO application. The EQO folks sent me a Nokia 6670 pre-loaded with the application. After using it for a few minutes, I realized how cool this could be in the right set of circumstances.
EQO is an application that runs concurrently with Skype on your Windows PC (Mac version is coming shortly) and makes your Skype contact list available to you on your mobile phone. EQO uses a very small amount of data to communicate status information about you and your Skype contacts. Only voice communication is possible with EQO at the moment,.though full instant messaging support will be added in a future release. Any voice communication that occurs happens using the traditional telephone network using SkypeOut.
Why is using the traditional voice network a good thing? Partially because the data networks available to mobile phones aren’t really good at supporting voice yet, but it’s also good in the way the voice network is used. When a request is made to call a Skype contact, a message is sent to the EQO service. This then causes a SkypeOut call to be placed to your mobile phone to connect you with the Skype contact. You may also use the EQO client to make a SkypeOut call. This will result in two SkypeOut calls being placed: one to your mobile phone, and one to the number you are trying to connect to. However, even with two SkypeOut calls being placed, this can still be much cheaper than paying International long distance rates from a mobile phone, which are nothing short of ridiculous.
Where is EQO making their money? They are trying to partner with, strangely enough, mobile phone carriers. The idea is to make a service the service providers can offer their customers. At first blush, it doesn’t seem to make sense. When you consider that peoplare are bypassing the mobile carriers anyway when it comes to international long distance and that voice is still king when it comes to revenue generation, it makes sense for the carriers to embrace this. This service essentially means more voice minutes for the carrier. Yes it does mean they will lose out on the international call revenue, but at least they will get some voice revenue rather than nothing.
I look forward to IM support as well as Mac OS support, not to mention a phone that I actually own that runs the client.