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Urban Hello tries to make home phones

home phone

Home phone

LAS VEGAS — A device that plugs into a landline doesn’t sound very sexy, but Urban Hello’s sleek phone could change your mind.

The French startup’s HD voice handset doesn’t look like a typical house phone and its features are discreet. The speakers and microphone blend into the design, and its two screens, used for caller ID and to pull up stored numbers, are well hidden. The dial pad is at the bottom of the phone, and if you set it down mid-conversation, it automatically turns into a 360-degree speaker phone (meaning you can talk to it from all directions).

The company is doing a Kickstarter campaign to try to fund the product’s manufacturing, so it had only a prototype on hand at CES 2013. It was difficult to the hear the sound quality inside the showroom, but Urban Hello said the HD sound will make for a great phone chatting experience. The pretty phone also costs a pretty penny, though. It’s available for pre-order on Kickstarter, starting at $85.