Intercepting Audio == Freedom from Service Providers

Bryan Fink bryan.fink at
Fri Jan 12 17:31:00 CET 2007

Hey all.  I've been lurking on this list for a long time, but I
finally had to post a thought, though.

First a question that I haven't seen clearly answered on this list:
Can the software on the phone intercept the audio to and from the
microphone and speaker, or are those tied directly to the cell radio?
Is software limited to only piping sound to the headphone jack?

I ask because several pieces of software I'm thinking about rely on
intercepting these signals.  Examples follow.

Intercepting audio from the microphone allows the phone to act as a
quick voice recorder, for making notes, recording meetings, etc.

Injecting audio on the microphone path allows the phone to play audio
(music on hold), or possibly send data on a voice channel.

Intercepting audio to the speaker allows the phone to act as an
answering machine - it could be set to pick up just before the call
would go to voice mail, and record the voicemail itself.

Intercepting both audio streams allows the phone to record
conversations for playback later.

Basically, if intercepting these two streams is possible, I see the
Neo as more than just freedom from phone manufacturers - it would also
be freedom from service providers.  There are so many services that
you could move from their side of the link to your side.

If your phone can take messages, your service provider no longer
determines how long those messages can be, or how long they can be
stored.  They also can't force their idiotic answering message on you
(Yes, I know I'm going to wait for a beep, then leave a message - get
on with it!).

If your phone can receive data over a voice channel, you have less of
a reason to pay your service provider for a separate "data package".
This would be especially nice for someone like me who only subcribes
to the "bare bones" plan, but still has minutes left over at the end
of the month and has to pay $.50 for the five text messages received.
(Sure, only useful when communicating with other OpenMoko users, but
still a possibly useful feature.)

Sorry if I'm being forgetful and all of this has been discussed.  I
just can't get these ideas out of my head, so I thought I'd write them
down.  Can't wait for February!


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