Personal Hold Music
Here’s a small innovation I could use from my smart phone (yes, an iPhone): personal hold music. Cause, who likes muzak? Here’s how it would work.
You make a phone call to some customer service center. You navigate their tree of options and end up being put on hold while waiting in line for a person to pick up. They then start playing something hideous while you wait. Personally, I think this is designed to encourage people to hang up, reducing their call volume. But: you have a secret weapon… you’re calling with a smart phone equipped with Personal Hold Music™®.
So, here’s what you’d do: you’d take the phone from your ear and on the screen, there’d be a convenient button to play your music. What would this do? Well, once playing your music with an active phone call, your smart phone would pay attention to the line… since you won’t be able to hear it (cause you’re listening to your sweet, rockin’ beats). If the sound from the phone call changes to voice communication (versus music), your music will be paused and what the person on other end said will be replayed. That’s the tricky part— making the phone recognize when to switch back to the active call. I suppose it would need to do so even for periodic “there are n people waiting ahead of you” prompts, but I could live with that.
This is an idea whose time has come.