Method and System for Improving Mobile Telephone Caller Identification
Original Publication Date: 2001-Nov-17
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
As cellular, mobile, and wireless telephones proliferate, they offer many ways for people and organizations to improve their communications reach and effectiveness. However, there is a fundamental conflict between how people expect to make and receive telephone calls, and how people expect interpersonal communications to flow in a social setting. Expectations for instant access can make use of mobile telephones unsafe in certain settings. Expectations for instant access can make use of mobile telephones awkward or unacceptable in social settings. Expectations for instant access can make use of mobile telephones inappropriate where security is of concern. Disclosed is a number of interrelated new technologies for making instant wireless voice communications safer and more socially acceptable, while retaining the advantages of instant voice access. These technologies take advantage of current digital cellular telephone capabilities, such as caller identification, the ability to program customized behavior using telephone handset menu-driven programs, the handset's ability to store telephone numbers and contact information, and the telephone handset's ability to provide context-based action choices during telephone usage. With current digital cellular telephones, the user has a dilemma about receiving calls, and limited choices for dealing with incoming calls. Based on years of conditioning, the standard human telephone callers expects that, when he or she calls someone, if the receiving person answers, then the receiver must be available for immediate discussion. The caller generally expects to have the receiving person's immediate undivided attention. This is a problem for the receiving person when he or she would like to take the call, but is not ready to provide immediate attention. In some settings, such as driving a car or operating machinery, the need to suddenly and unexpectedly shift attention may be unsafe. In most social settings, such as during meetings or social conversations, the need to suddenly and unexpectedly shift attention is considered inappropriate and unacceptable. With current technology, the call taker may look at the caller identification information, and then must choose between not taking the call or taking the call and instantly disrupting the present surroundings, discussions, and proceedings. The new technologies are based around the concept of a "delayed answer." With deferred answer, the receiver can choose to accept the incoming call, while providing time to stop the car, turn off the machinery, step out of the meeting, slip out of the symphony audience, gracefully request an interlude in a face-to-face conversation, or pause another discussion, all while assuring the incoming call maker that their call is being accepted.