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Asterisk: The Future of Telephony by Leif Madsen, Jared Smith, Jim Van Meggelen

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Types of Phone

Since the title of this book is Asterisk: The Future of Telephony, we would be remiss if we didn’t discuss the devices that all of this technology ultimately has to interconnect: telephones !

We all know what a telephone is—but will it be the same five years from now? Part of the revolution that Asterisk is contributing to is the evolution of the telephone, from a simple audio communications device into a multimedia communications terminal providing all kinds of yet-to-be-imagined functions.

As an introduction to this exciting concept, we will briefly discuss the various kinds of devices we currently call “telephones” (any of which can easily be integrated with Asterisk). We will also discuss some ideas about what these devices may evolve into in the future (devices that will also easily integrate with Asterisk).

Physical Telephones

Any physical device whose primary purpose is terminating an on-demand audio communications circuit between two points can be classified as a physical telephone. At a minimum, such a device has a handset and a dial pad; it may also have feature keys, a display screen, and various audio interfaces.

This section takes a brief look at the various user (or endpoint) devices you might want to connect to your Asterisk system. We’ll delve more deeply into the mechanics of analog and digital telephony in Chapter 7.

Analog telephones

Analog phones have been around since the invention of the telephone. Up until about 20 years ago, all telephones were analog. ...

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