The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has just assigned Apple a patent that will entail passive audio call screening ability using an off-site voicemail service, a feature which theoretically speaking, can be applied to various smartphone platforms, the iPhone included. Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 8,666,034 for “Audio call screening for hosted voicemail systems” might eventually deliver a staple landline technology to handsets worldwide. Folks who still own personal answering machines will have fond memories of the ability to screen calls after letting the machine pick up the incoming call. Should the call be worth responding to, one can simply pick up the handset and start talking. This new Apple patent would work with hosted voicemail services, where they are off-site and rather similar in some ways to those offered by cellular operators.
All incoming calls that are intended for your telephone terminal can be routed to a hosted voicemail system should you fail to answer. As soon as someone on the other end of the line leaves a message, a conference call connection will be established between the incoming call, voicemail system and user, so that you can tune in to what is being said in real time. Pretty neat idea, don’t you think so?