Process addresses issues of cost containment and privacy in text conferences
NEWARK, USA: Phone.com, a cloud-based phone company focused on the needs of small business and entrepreneurs, announced that the US Patent and Trademark Office has awarded the company its first patent for an innovative process that addresses cost and privacy issues involving conferencing from any phone as well as texting and caller ID management when using mobile devices.
Phone.com's patent offers the conferencing industry a way to greatly improve customer ease of use by offering persistent, direct room dial-in numbers or SMS chat rooms without requiring operators to maintain millions of telephone access numbers.
The patented process also provides mobile phone users with a capability called Group SMS that shields the private numbers of their personal devices, exposing only their business phone numbers while they text or make business calls.
The company recently introduced a mobile app for iPhones - Phone.com Mobile Office - that takes advantage of the newly patented process.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Phone.com patent No. 8571588 on Oct. 29. The patent, entitled "Method and Apparatus for Conferencing of Text Messages," was co-authored by Phone.com's CTO, Alon Cohen and Brian Lee Scott, a co-founder of Phone.com.
Cohen said the new method would allow replacement of the common two-step dial-in process to enter conference calls, with a simpler single-step dialing of a persistent phone number that can be stored in a conferee's address book. A conferee's acceptance of a conference call invitation on his or her smartphone would capture the required single call-in number and add it to the calendar in the mobile device so that a conference call can be dialed directly from the calendar.
The patent allows conference operators to maintain a small pool of numbers while enabling them to directly address millions of conferencing rooms without requiring the user to enter a separate room ID number. This reduction in the size of the pool of necessary numbers benefits end users as the reduction in operating cost translates to lower service costs, Cohen said.