President Obama Missing Out On Cool Phones

This past week President Obama made some candid remarks about the not-so-modern tech in the Oval Office at a fundraiser in Chicago.

“The Oval Office, I always thought I was going to have really cool phones and stuff. I'm like, c'mon guys, I'm the president of the United States. Where's the fancy buttons and stuff and the big screen comes up? It doesn't happen."

According to this article, Obama was responding to a question pertaining to bottlenecks in technological innovation, and was using his Oval Office phone as an off-the-cuff example. In President Obama’s example, the ‘bottleneck’ is likely security; that is, security requirements hinder the advancement of communications equipment in his office.

This isn’t the first time President Obama’s phone requests have been the topic of discussion. In April 2009, The Washington Times reported that the National Security Agency had been working on a “souped-up” Blackberry for the President, who unhappily had to forgo his Blackberry after inauguration.

“The software being used is called SecureVoice, developed by the Genesis Key Inc. of Washington. It can turn any BlackBerry 8830 or Curve into a device that is designed to defeat hackers, eavesdroppers and spies,” described The Washington Times.

So now that the President has his secured Blackberry, we can understand that he may look longingly at friends’ iPhones and colleagues’ VoIP desk phones. We’re going to take a moment to recommend a few “cool” desk phones-- and perhaps, like his Blackberry request, President Obama can get the NSA to work on some high SIP security services to power it (As far as speculating what those security standards are, we’ll leave that to the Secret Service.)

So, Mr. President, here’s a small taste of what you’ve been missing in that Oval Office of yours, as far as desk phones go:

Phone 1


Looking for fancy buttons and big screens? Look no further than the Polycom VVX 1500. This hefty behemoth weighs in at over 5 pounds and has a 7 inch touchscreen LCD for all of your personal videoconferencing needs. Chat face to face with ambassadors, prime ministers and dignitaries without ever leaving your desk. The VVX 1500 has got the fanciest buttons we’ve ever seen on a phone- huge silver ones that are incredibly satisfying to use. The screen doesn’t really ‘pop’ up; unfortunately you have to adjust it manually if you get the one that we have in our offices. Who knows, maybe Polycom will make a Presidential model for you with a remote.

Phone 2


Why not forego buttons altogether? The GXV3175 from Grandstream has no buttons to speak of. It’s a tablet, phone, and camera all crammed into one device. Just like the Polycom VVX 1500, you’ll also be able to do your fill of personal videoconferencing with all of your pals. The GXV3175 also boasts one of the nicest Internet browsers we’ve tested on a desk phone, but that probably won’t interest you too much. We hear you’re loving the new iPad 2.