The RCA Cell Phone Docking System lets users make and receive cellular phone calls using a standard home telephone anywhere in the house. Thomson division ATLINKS, based in Boulogne-Billancourt, France, introduced the system at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV, U.S., in January 2005.
The Docking System is designed to be compatible with most major wireless carriers, and it operates as a stand-alone cordless telephone. The system functions as a recharge cradle for the cell phone and can be expanded to support two additional handsets.
“With approximately 70 percent of households owning one or more cell phones, many people are seeking ways to better maximize their cellular phone plans,” says Lisa Castor, vice president of ATLINKS North America Operations.
The first RCA-branded telephone targeted specifically at the consumer sector, the Docking System Model 23200 is set up by placing the unit in the room that receives the clearest cellular reception. The charge cradle and 2.4-GHz digital handset can be located anywhere in the home. Users who still have a landline telephone can plug the phone wire into the docking system, to enable a "second" phone line. Different rings tones help identify whether a call is coming in on the home telephone line or the cell phone, and separate buttons allow the option of making calls using cell minutes or the home line. Caller ID information from the cell phone is automatically displayed on the handset. The system also features a call timer to track cell minutes used while the user's cell phone is in the docking system.
The docking station doubles as a charge device for the cell phone and can be upgraded via a USB connection to support future cell phone models.