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Screen Phones

Screen phones were first introduced in office environments to help handle the complex array of facilities on office phone systems (eg call transfer on busy, voicemail). In addition some systems also had access to the internal telephone directory. More recently screen phones have been used for handling email services, and are now becoming a domestic item.

In the office, the phone and the computer terminal are likely to become integrated. However there will still be a role for a screen phone for those who do not want or need the sophistication or cost of a computer terminal.

For deaf users, text phones can be used to contact other text users or to communicate to others via a text relay service. Progress has been hampered by the use of six different protocols in Europe; the introduction of the V18 protocol may alleviate this problem.

A web or screen phone is composed mainly of:

Additional components can be a smart card reader (to simplify transactions and to store information) and soft keys (usually near the screen). Some LEDs can also be used to indicate for example that the phone is ringing.

A web/screen phone can be used as a standard Tel: just type in the number to dial and lift the receiver. When it is used to access new information services, it can communicate using the IP protocol too, protecting the information with protocols like Secure Socket Layer 3.0, if needed. The software in the phone can also allow dialogue with the built-in smart card reader, which can contain personal data about the user and service dependent information.

The interface, of the service to the user, can be constructed using the Java language (the personal Java run time environment is integrated in the phone) allowing applications to be easily created. This version of HTML supports the frames for better presentation.

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