Wireless Wonders

No news, just comment about mobile phones and services, from a veteran practitioner...3G, GPRS, WAP, Bluetooth, WiFi, etc...

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Parent-child hot line...idea #26/100...

It has been well researched that kids don't like to be called on their mobiles by their parents ("it's embarrassing"). Kids don't like to call their parents either, as it eats into their prepay credits. However, many phones are bought by parents so that a metaphorical umbilical cord can be maintained with their siblings. There is a tension here.

Although they are not users of the phones bought for kids, the parents are important customers and deserve special attention (reward) from the operators.

I started mulling this problem over and decided that there were probably lots of network services and phone features that could make the parent-sibling relationship more "mobile-friendly". This is a theme worth exploring, as there are other contexts outside of parent-sibling relationships that induce tensions between the caller and the called.

My first thought is giving the parents a hotline feature. Some means to get through despite most attempts to stay out of reach (except for the fatal switching-off).

This is a mode whereby a call to the mobile from the home number cannot be diverted to voicemail, ended or silenced. The phone is guaranteed to ring out loud, provided it's switched on.

What's more, with a ringback feature, the parents would not have to hang-around waiting for their child to answer, if he or she decided not to answer anyway. If the child did switch off, then the moment they switch on again, the phone rings.

Perhaps this is offered via a "hotline" number. The parent calls a hotline number (not the child's mobile number) and the network does the rest, having already registered the parents home number and the child's number on the hotline system.

Their are other solutions to make the parent-sibling relationship easier with mobile and I hope to return to this theme...

[Kids!! If operators ever implement this, I apologise in advance. Be nice to your parents :) ]

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