In the US and many other countries, there is the concept of your local dialing area within which you can call cheaply or free, and long distance for which you have to pay premium prices. This two-tier system was designed in the days when phones were fixtures, tied to particular locations. This
is no longer true, phones roam about with us. And yet we still use this system.
It would be convenient to have a adjunct set of phone numbers that takes our constant mobility into account. A third tier of phone numbers that were location-dependent would be a good step. You might think of them as macros that get you to the particular phone number associated with your current location.
For example, youre in a shopping mall parking deck, and you see someone trying to break into a car. There are no call boxes provided, and you want to quickly call the correct number to report this, before it's too late. Sure, you could call 911 (aka 999 in UK) and have them put you on hold. Or dial the three-digit ultra local number that automatically routes you to the mall security office, who can deal with this situation much more quickly and more efficiently.
Other numbers that would be useful in this system:
· The managers office for this business
· The regional office for this business chain (complaints, kudos)
· The information desk of a mall, campus or theme park
· The first aid office for a mall, campus or theme park
· The nearest restaurant or take-away place of type X
· The nearest post office
The idea is these numbers would be the same everywhere in a country, but would be routed based on your current location. They might be three or four digits long, or start with * or something. The exact details would depend on how they could be wedged into the existing local dialing plan.
As for implementation, the US is currently rolling out an Enhanced 911 system to locate cell phone callers that could be used to provide this. Alternately, super-small cells or even Bluetooth could communicate with phones over short distances to provide this location-dependent service.
Honey, do something!
Hello, this is the Bijou Cineplex
Hi, Im seated in Theater 4, and the film just stopped suddenly in the middle
Oh, so sorry, sir! Ill go remedy that.
Thank you. (click)
Here, have some popcorn sweetie.