yet another fantasy idea: nextel-like walkie talkie feature?

michael at michael at
Thu Dec 14 04:39:44 CET 2006

On Wed, 13 Dec 2006, Ole Tange wrote:

> On 12/13/06, michael at <michael at> wrote:
>>  I suppose everyone is familiar with the Nextel feature that behaves a bit
>>  like
>>  a walkie-talkie. In summary, you can contact anyone within certian groups
>>  in a
>>  half-duplex (meaning only one talks at a time) push-to-talk like
>>  environment.
> I am familiar with a walkie talkie, but not the Nextel.
> I am wondering why you want push-to-talk when you can have VoIP using
> SIP or just a normal GSM conversation? Can you elaborate on why?

Hi Ole,

The main advantage to me is the one button push-to-talk, once you've
selected the person you want to speak to. I've used this often in constructing
sets, when I need to call down to a friend on the ground to send up a tool or

I guess another functional element is that in this mode the volume is
automatically kicked up quite a bit, so that you can hear when somene speaks
to you without having to hold the handset to your ear. Good for when your
hands are busy holding something in place.

Another subtle point is that you can have a conversation with long silences in
between, where you don't have to hold the handset to your ear and the line
isn't kept busy, because the connection is dropped whenever the sender releases
the push to talk button.

I just remembered another feature I had forgotten about: the group mode. In
this mode when you talk everyone in the group hears the message. So, for
example, you would select the group, press "talk", and say "Hey, who has the
9/16" feinshchmeker bit?". Whoever has the item would respond, and you haven't
had to make individual calls to everyone who might have this item. Another use
of this feature is to tell everyone in the group something all at once.

In this regard it's a little like a police or fire department walkie-talkie.


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