Its keeping my up after an 8hr drive, and so I know that there’s something there. My lady and I were talking about it (and she understood); I was sparked by my previous post on phone numbers, and then got another poke from several pieces by Mr. Tony Fish. There’s just got to be a better way to communicate with people than to remember and use several registrations, numbers, and services. What if it were as simple as a verb and a name? What if it were really that simple?
Follow me for a bit if you will…
All communications, whether we want to receive them as such or not, are digital these days. If you will, there are several aspects to this pipe that is the Internet which allows for various types of communication to be pushed through it. Depending on what we are doing, that pipe acts one way or another. When doing text, we get something to read; when doing audio, a browser or application offers us a player that transcodes bytes into sounds; and the same for video, applications, etc. Its all data though. And being that its all pretty much the same data, we should probably have a better means of dealing with the context of using data to communicate with one another.
So, in the middle of my morning and getting ready for that aforementioned 8+hour drive, I had this thought: I own my domain name. Wouldn’t it be cool if I had a subdomain, something like call.antoinerjwright, and then my mobile would ring as it would be registered to receive calls to that domain?
I started thinking about it a bit more. What if everything was like that? What if someone wanted to text me, and instead of fishing for my phone number, the could simply put into a browser URL bar text.antoinerjwright and then the remaining screen would be a canvas to send me text, audio, video, or application content? What about the same for email, for meeting request (mtgreq.antoinerjwright or something like that). We usually already know what kind of communications behavior that we want to engage in, why do we need to go through the hassle of finding the compatible number, registration, or service to do so? Why not just know the label, and based on the relationship, the communications event will happen?
Going back to call.antoinerjwright. You are basically saying that you want to call me. Behind the scenes of the domain, the fun stuff has to happen. In establishing this subdomain, I would also need to establish what kinds of services feed into it. Perhaps one would be an OTT service by AT&T (my current carrier) which would no longer show my phone number on the screen, but would show call.antoinerjwright and this is what would be saved in the phone number (or better named, “voice call”) field. Because I own the domain, I’d also be able to point Skype voice calls to this as well – making it advantaegous for those persons who might be using Skype to contact me, but don’t really need to know or care to know if I’m also using Skype. The service behind the domain would need to be smart enough to know where the call is coming from, and then use the best service available (perhaps this is a rule that I setup when configuring all of the services feeding into that verb+name subdomain).
The implications of this? We move away from phone numbers, and guessing at what services each of us might be on to simply getting on with the activity. You want to call me, if you know my domain name then you can do that. Else, you’d need to use one of thsoe people search engines to find me. Then we can have some nice fun, if that people search wants to list me, I get a cut. Or, if it wants to only list me based on certain conditions (time of day, period of time, when I’m located in home country, etc.), then there’s some cost my way, but I gain the privacy of not being completely out there.
Whenever I make this trip to my family’s home, I have to deal with the fact that the cellular signal drops out completely. I end up turning on Skype, and spending some minutes reconsidering a SIP service. If there were some way to forward my AT&T number to a SIP number, and have that SIP/Skype automatically activate when here, I’d not have this problem. People would still be calling my by just looking for my name within their address book, but I’d not have to deal with the service interruptions caused by the lack of coverage indoors.
Last point, then I need to find sleep: what if the name portion of this wasn’t just a label, but context as you defined it. Its not just Antoine, but Antoine + fmaily’s home means that call.antoinerjwright is always routed to a specific communication implementation (SIP/Skype), and the other times it goes cellular?
I spent way too many hours tonight looking at free SIP services, trying to see if they could be used in a manner similar to this. So far, nothing seems to work like that even on the paid side of things. This would open up so much though. Its just a verb and a name, it really shouldn’t be that hard.