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Smartphone hold queue handler

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000253939D
Publication Date: 2018-May-16
Document File: 2 page(s) / 157K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

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Smartphone Hold Queue Handler

When someone calls a company with a high volume of calls, that company often does not have enough call handlers to answer every call. When this situation occurs, the caller is put "on hold" - and queued for when a call handler is available to answer. If the company has a higher than expected volume of calls, callers can end up being on hold for long periods of time. Music on hold was originally granted patent [1]. Playing music to people on hold increases call retention rate, as it was found that 70% of people who have only silence to listen to will end the call, and 35% of them will not call back [2].

On-hold music is largely generic, classical, and/or old fashioned, which does not engage the caller at all, and adds to the frustration of them having to wait for their call to be answered. This music is used by smaller companies, as the copyright is in the public domain, and is therefore free to use. This music is also generally inoffensive to any caller, but is also generally not interesting to the majority of callers. Despite today's technology and prevalence of smart phones, music is still the go to for "on hold" entertainment.

Some providers offer a choice of music from the service provider, but this is often limited in choices and clunky to use in practice and only offered from a limited number of providers.

The smartphone app will listen to the audio stream from the phone call. Detecting when music is playing (using known technology - prior art [3]), it will prevent the audio stream from playing through the phone's speaker.

For personalised music, the app will play an audio stream through the phone's speaker to the user. This alternate audio stream could be sourced from a local file on the smart device, a cloud hosted library or generated from their online streaming/purchasing history. Alternatively a non-music activity could take place on the smart phone, such as gaming, video playback, or reading an e-book with the smartphone app interrupting this activity when user interaction is required using audio, on-screen alerts or push notifications inserted into the current activity. If the activity involves audio then the original sound is muted or faded to a low level.

When the user is removed from being on hold then the speaker will switch/fade back to the audio stream from the phone call.

The app presents the user with the choice to have some important messages such as "you are at position number X" messages overlaid/inserted into the music. The app will remember the user’s preferences and automatically detect linguistic variations of the same message from different service providers.

On hold music is frequently interrupted by repeating phrases like 'pleas...