Friday, September 29, 2006

Indirection For Indecency

Nokia gave me a phone, and a phone number. I had it for 7 years, handing it out left and right as I travelled throuh the various NC-17 parts of life I have. When I left Nokia, I strongly suggested they retire it -- whomever would get it after me might get some strange calls. I doubt they did.

GrandCentral is a service where you get a phone number from them that you can give to people, and then can make rules on their website where the calls to this number should be routed to. You can choose to have all calls to your GrandCentral number ring your cell and home phone, or you can put callers in groups and make different rules for them, like your Family goes to all phones, but calls to your GrandCentral number from work contacts only rings the phone at work. When you pick up a GrandCentral call, you are actually not directly connected to the calling party, but the GrandCentral computer will tell you who is calling, and you can elect to send them to voice mail that you can listen in to as the caller is recording it. And I do miss listening to messages from my answering machine as they are being recorded. If you take a call from someone who dialled your GrandCentral number, the GrandCentral computer keeps listening in, and by pressing '4' the computer will start recording the call and send the result to email when the call is over. Stuff like that. (Hi Wildfire!)

Anyway, people with work cellphones but 'interesting' personal lives could get a GrandCentral number and write it on bathroom stallsdistribute it within their 'interesting' personal life a) without fear of ever having to switch numbers if they change their personal phone infrastructure, and b) being able to decide how their 'interesting' calls should be routed and handled.

Limited sign-up is free. GrandCentral wants to be a central number for all the different phones in your life, but I see GrandCentral being used differently: GrandCentral will be an extra number people will use for specific aspects of their life. I foresee people having multiple GrandCentral numbers instead of one, and GrandCentral taking off within all kinds of communities in no time.