Gadgets | Technopolis


The BBC Dragons snapped up this phone-screening device


Image: Hugh Threlfall

November 05 2009
Jonathan Margolis

This is the first time, and may well be the last, that I feature an item which originally surfaced on the BBC Dragons’ Den show, but – in theory at least – it is a brilliant product. The trueCall is a phone-screening device designed to sift out telemarketers and other nuisance calls. It can recognise numbers you have previously approved and let the calls through unheeded, but politely asks unknown numbers to identify, then rings the phone to ask you if you want to accept the call.

It works impeccably, hence the Dragons’ excitement about it when it was presented to them late last summer. The problem with trueCall, I have found, is not technology, but people, damn ’em – the ones I know, anyway. As soon as they hear an electronic voice, they launch into leaving a message, thinking it’s an answering machine, and the whole thing gets messy and counterproductive. It’s a great shame because the thinking behind it is excellent. I hope people get used to it and the product succeeds.

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