Conditional Phone messages
Original Publication Date: 2001-Oct-04
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
This invention is an answering machine with the following new message types: The first new message type allows the caller to specify that if the receiver of the message calls or is called from a particular phone number before the message has been listened to, that the message should automatically be deleted. The machine implements this feature using caller ID. It saves the caller ID information for the caller will the message and if the party calls back (With same caller ID information) and this time the person is available to answer the phone but has not yet listen to the message, the message will be deleted. Likewise if the person calls the telephone number of the party that left the message, before actually listening to the message the answering machine will track the number dialed, compare it to the message and if matches and the phone is answered in less than 4 rings or the conversation lasts longer than 2 minutes then the message will be deleted. The second new message type is a message such that if the message is still unheard when the user is contacted by or attempts to contact a particular telephone number, they will be notified that the unheard message relates to the person they are about to talk to. When the caller leaves a message, he or she is allowed to select this message type and provide a telephone number(s) that the message should be heard before the person at that number is called. The invention then uses called ID information to determine if an incoming call is from that number and if the message has not been listened to yet, the machine will emit special tone to let the user know that there is an "unlisted to" message that may be important to listen to before taking that call. Also in the case of an out going call as soon as the user presses the last digit in the telephone number specified in the message, the machine will emit the special tone if the message has not been listened to. The third new message type is a message that will attract the user’s attention and replay itself at a given time. After the user indicates that they are done leaving the message they can select this message type and specify the time that the message should be reissued. When this time occurs the machine will emit a special tone and the message will be played or put back in the incoming box as a new message. In the case of this invention the allowable range of times for the for the message to be reissued would be established by the user.