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Reflective Ringtone

Caller hears the ringtone rather than a generic ringing noise.
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A long time ago, when I was a wee kiddie I noticed that the 'brrr brr'r noise in the earpiece of a phone (UK ringing tone) was out of sync with the actual ringing of the phone. I can't remember why I was ringing a phone that was in earshot - it must either have been laziness or playing a prank on the neighbours.

At the time I thought that it would make the Universe a more symmetric place if the caller heard the ringing of the phone in the same way as the person answering the phone. You'd get no more of these "how did you pick up the phone when it hasn't even rung?" kind of conversations, but it was the symmetry of the Universe that was more my concern.

Now that many phones have programmable ringtones, some of which can vary depending on who is calling, I would like to extend this idea to actually play the ringtone to the caller. You could hear the music that they choose (or more specifically the music that they choose for your call) and at what point in the tune they pick up the phone.

Pointless? Probably. Waste of bandwidth? Almost certainly. Bringing together the two halves of a phone call before the phone is even answered? Maybe, just maybe.

st3f, Nov 13 2002

T-Mobile Caller Tunes http://www.t-mobile.com/CALLERTUNES/
"Show your style to your friends when they call you. T-Mobile CallerTunes lets you play your favorite song, celebrity voice, or comedy clip for callers." [jutta, Dec 08 2004]

[link]






       Most people these days look at mobile phones as fashion accessories (the luddites!) and how much extra bandwidth will be used to send 16 - 32 notes to compose a tone?   

       It would be 'cool' to get a friends phone to ring with something like <tongue in cheek> 'Nobody does it better...' when I phone them. <takes tongue out of cheek>
Jinbish, Nov 13 2002
  

       On a 3G system, this sort of thing would be very easy to implement. No reason at all that it couldn't be done, and in fact I quite like the idea. Of course, it would only work between compatible handsets.
8th of 7, Nov 13 2002
  

       Interesting idea, but bone I'm afraid. This would surely be quickly abused by telesales scum. I don't want to be spammed by a McDonalds ringtone at x O'clock.
sild, Nov 13 2002
  

       I don't personally think the phone companies would go for this, for the mere fact that you could then transmit information from the called person back to the caller for free. You'd just set your "ringtone" to be a nice voice message, and you can effectively leave messages for people without the phone company getting their cut.   

       Thinking about it, that may be one reason why the ringing tone heard by the caller is out of sync with the actual ringing - it makes it harder to transmit information for free, like "3 rings means meet me at 7pm, 4 rings means meet me at 8pm", and so on. This is made a lot more difficult by the lack of sync.
pmillerchip, Nov 13 2002
  

       sild: nope - the owner of the phone controls what the caller hears, not vice versa. (although that is an interesting idea)   

       pmillerchip: I thought about that when I was posting. I've no easy answer to it, though.   

       TwoSheds (below): If I answered that here, we'd be off-topic for a whole long while.
st3f, Nov 13 2002
  

       [Rods Tiger] Sending live audio down the phone! What a concept!
[TwoSheds] I'm not certain about the increase in symmetry either. There's something inherently asymmetrical about one person phoning another. To increase symmetry, phonecalls should only be possible when both parties call each other at exactly the same moment.
hippo, Nov 13 2002
  

       How odd that the first few annotators would get the idea reversed, and that the reversal would be its own interesting idea.   

       I like the idea of knowing who's calling by the ringtone (or voice snippet) they're sending. Unless it's someone elses phone yelling "Hey Bobby! Pick up!" over and over and over again.
phoenix, Nov 13 2002
  

       Sorry [st3f], will read more carefully in future!
sild, Nov 14 2002
  

       So are all these one-sided phone call initiations the result of the matter/antimatter imbalance in dirtspace ? Is it as simple as that ?   

       Or are they the CAUSE ? Very worried by the Neutrino defecit .....
8th of 7, Nov 14 2002
  

       Regardless of the *perception* of time, surely the uniformly uni-directional increase of entropy is a fairly major asymmetry?   

       [Rods] "Heat Death" - or were you joking?   

       And to the perceptual point. Tibor Fischer wrote "Life is a moment with memories". The "forgetting" universe would feel just like this one.
whimsickle, Nov 14 2002
  

       Nooo! Down with Ringtones! Down with them all!   

       I was driving with a group of buds in the car somewheres, and one insisted on sampling every single ringtone he had uploaded, much to my dissatisfaction. The neighborhood dogs were wincing from the pain, it was so bad.
RayfordSteele, Nov 14 2002
  

       We're all going through time facing backwards because we can see where we have already travelled but we can't see where we're going.
Mayfly, Nov 14 2002
  

       // Ah, but how can you 'unknow' what you have come to know? //   

       I don't kow about you, [Rods], but I'm getting better at it all the time...
snarfyguy, Nov 14 2002
  

       //In fact, go one step even furtherer, it would be interesting if the sender could send live audio and shout down the phone at high volume to both attract attention and identify the caller (themselves).//   

       Isn't that how NexTel DirectConnect(R) works?
supercat, Nov 14 2002
  

       Of course, if you hold with the notion of parallel universes then if I phone Rods, in another universe he is phoning me at exactly the same time, and so symmetry is preserved. Hurrah!
hippo, Nov 15 2002
  

       Your right [RodsTiger] Time is asymmetric. Time has a spiral or cone geometry. It really is a stubby flat cone with an unbelievably narrowing tip, but that's beside the point. You're cheating when you stop at asymmetry. You're just putting your own spin on the physics of it that way.   

       Whether or not you mention it, there is always "Anti- time." But It has a contrasting shape. Anti-time is *flat-stubby* by comparison.   

       Theoretically, If you put both cone bases together lining up respective planes, you have *symmetry*. Both cone halves correct each other's *asymmetry*. You end up with a *lenses* shape. Stand this lense shape of time on one end and you will have a cats eye mew.
_Mowgli_, Nov 15 2002
  

       possibly just confused with the concept of light cones.
yamahito, Nov 15 2002
  

       What if we just havent reached the point of symmetry? "The Big Crunch", the inverse of "The Big Bang", would imply a point where things started undoing. Whether or not the big crunch will happen, (& thusly this would be the big crunch unhappnening... which is the unhappening of the big bang, unhappening......<headshake>), i have to make the semi-metaphysical assertion that an intelligent organism as we know it, a human say, is only capable of perceiving time "forwards". The reverse process, or unknowing & undoing etc., could plausibly happen, but an organism that evloved during forward time wouldn't be able to "make sense of" going in reverse. So, (& do I even need to say that this is utter speculation?), as i see it; if I was alive at a point where "time turned around", that'd be the end of my conscious experience; I'd just unlive my unlife back into the womb.
redundantly_redundant, Nov 16 2002
  

       pmillerchip, one of our first answering machines included a feature to transmit information for free. It was the deluxe model for its day, which included the ability to call in and check messages remotely by entering a code during the greeting. there was a selector switch on the unit for "rings", and the positions were "2, 4, TS" where TS meant Toll Saver.   

       The idea was thus: If there were no messages to retrieve, the unit would answer after 4 rings. If there were messages on it, it would answer after 2. By simply waiting for the third ring and hanging up, you could get your change back from the payphone.
Myself248, Jun 09 2003
  

       This idea, at least as I first read the original thought, is baked. T-Mobile now offer a service whereby you can select a tone for the caller to hear as they are waiting. At a guess, this prevents answerphones etc by giving you a choice of pre-recorded tones, but it may well be cleverer than that - it's a marketing ploy, after all.   

       Good thought though.
imagin8or, Oct 14 2004
  

       I'd say beating the market by two years is more than just a good thought...
This is going to be *so* annoying.
jutta, Dec 08 2004
  

       Well, unlike most new annoying phone things, this time I know exactly who to blame.   

       A nice piece of prescience, Mr. Threef.
bristolz, Dec 08 2004
  

       [blushes]
st3f, Dec 10 2004
  
      
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