There's a slight blip on the radar we're detecting off in the distance, and it's the Ripcord Canopy, made by a company called Ripcord Networks and characterized as "the iPhone for grown-ups." It looks like a VoIP phone with built-in video conferencing, similar to that Verizon FiOS Fone we were perusing yesterday.


One of the Canopy's touted features is better audio quality, something that is practically impossible to get from shitty-sounding cellphones with their transistor radio-like audio fidelity. Yeah, if all you need to do is gossip with your friends, cellphones might be fine, but for a conference call with venture capitalists where you're begging for a billion dollars, a dropped call, clipped audio, distortion, delays and missed words thanks to craptastic cellphone providers might not fly. Could this thing actually do any better? We can only hope.

We're also intrigued by its claim of having the "world's best privacy," along with third-party applications support. But wait. Why is this vaporware credible at all?

Buzz began to build for the Ripcord Canopy a couple of months ago and was mostly ignored, but then we started looking at the eyebrow-raising cast of characters behind this company. Its Board of Directors brings considerable credibility to the project, with its veritable who's who of Apple history including Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak, former Apple CEO Gil Amelio, former Apple CTO Ellen Hancock and former Apple VP Michael Connor.


Nobody's jumped out of any planes yet, but when the Ripcord Canopy opens, the smart money says it could prove to be a high flyer.

Prototype Page [Ripcord Networks]