E-mail style voicemail.

Matthew S. Hamrick mhamrick at cryptonomicon.net
Mon Mar 26 23:48:54 CEST 2007

Hey Matthew.

My understanding is that Wildfire had an interface vaguely like this  
in the 90's, and at least one Canon voice-mail / desktop mash-up  
device had a voice-mail system where entries were presented as a list  
on a screen. So I would be real surprised if Apple tried to patent  
the concept of listing voice-mails the same way email clients list  
email messages.

The main problem with the approach you outline here is that if the  
phone is turned off or out of the cell service, you couldn't connect  
with the on-board anything. But it's a great idea for "do not  
disturb" behavior.

I came up with something conceptually similar... I live in the  
sticks, so I don't have mobile service at my house. As I drive into  
the office, I have intermittent service. I had really bad service in  
my old office building so I came up with the following solution.

1. Forward cell calls to my asterisk box.
2. If my SIP phone isn't registered or I don't answer, take a message.
3. Send a SMS message to my phone that's intercepted by the voice  
mail app.
4. When the voice mail app receives the SMS message, it establishes a  
net connection to my asterisk box and downloads the message to my phone.

One of the things I like about programmable phones is it allows the  
device to become a "1st class peer." That is, it's not longer  
dependent on a server for data operations. So if you have the DND (Do  
Not Disturb) mode activated, maybe the phone could take a message and  
forward it to the server. Then you would have the message right there  
on the phone, and it would be made available on the server as well.

The reason I like to have voice mail on a server is:
a. I can archive the messages.
b. I can annotate the messages via a PC. i.e. - I'm using the nice,  
comfortable keyboard on the PC.
c. I can access my voice mail with a web interface, if I want.

But a couple reasons why you might prefer the server to take the  
message and forward it to the phone...
a. you're going to burn minutes on the oncoming call (but I guess  
this isn't an issue outside the US.)
b. the call quality might be better when you're connecting to the  
server on the other end of  a land-line.

But.. I think it's a great option for DND. Implementing it shouldn't  
be too big of a hassle.

-Matt H.

On Mar 26, 2007, at 2:20 PM, mathew davis wrote:

> All,
> I have some questions I hope people could help with.  I couldn't  
> help but notice that the iphone(sorry for the swear word) used a e- 
> mail type interface for viewing voice mails.  That feature looks  
> very interesting to me.  Now I am sure they have that pattented but  
> does anybody know what about it they pattented?  I was thinking  
> about this, as I would like to have it on the Neo as I will buy  
> one, what if this was on the neo also.  So I got to thinking how  
> one could do this and I came up with an idea.  So here is my idea  
> and please tell me if it's stupid and why, it's already been  
> pattented, or that's a good idea here is how you could improve on it.
> First instead of routing the call to the service providers voice  
> mail after so many calls, have it get routed to the neo's onboard  
> voice mail system.  This system could record the audio save it and  
> add an e-mail like layer to it like, SuchAndSuch person called @  
> 9:30 pm 03/26/07 1 min 23 sec for example.  It could then save them  
> on the phone.  Now I know this is kind of memory expensive so I  
> thought of some other alternatives to this also.  If you want the  
> advanced feature of listening to the calls in whatever order you  
> heard them in then you would have to save them on the phone it's  
> self or upload the audio samples to a webserver of some sort and  
> when connected you could listen to them in what ever order.   
> Another approach if the person didn't want the wasted space could  
> still see the messages in a e-mail type invironment but couldn't  
> listen to the messages in what ever order for the neo after  
> recording when the call was made by who and finishes recording the  
> message could then route the call to the service providers voice  
> mail and send it the recorded message.
> Now I don't know difficult this would be.  And I can't say that I  
> am experianced enough with this, although I would like to be, to  
> impliment it myself.  I just thought I could post my idea to the  
> community to try and add my $0.02 to help better the community.   
> Please let me know what you think.
> Thanks,
> Matt
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