GB2387737A - Voice message system incorporating text messaging and caller line identification - Google Patents

Voice message system incorporating text messaging and caller line identification Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2387737A
GB2387737A GB0129403A GB0129403A GB2387737A GB 2387737 A GB2387737 A GB 2387737A GB 0129403 A GB0129403 A GB 0129403A GB 0129403 A GB0129403 A GB 0129403A GB 2387737 A GB2387737 A GB 2387737A
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GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
number
voice
means
telephone
caller
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Granted
Application number
GB0129403A
Other versions
GB2387737B (en
GB0129403D0 (en
GB2387737A8 (en
Inventor
Andrew Munarriz
Marco Santulli
Robert Keiller
Daniel Makin
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
* VOXSURF Ltd
VOXSURF Ltd
Original Assignee
VOXSURF LTD
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to GB0124006A priority Critical patent/GB0124006D0/en
Application filed by VOXSURF LTD filed Critical VOXSURF LTD
Priority claimed from GB0502663A external-priority patent/GB2407736B/en
Publication of GB0129403D0 publication Critical patent/GB0129403D0/en
Publication of GB2387737A publication Critical patent/GB2387737A/en
Publication of GB2387737B publication Critical patent/GB2387737B/en
Application granted granted Critical
Publication of GB2387737A8 publication Critical patent/GB2387737A8/en
Application status is Active legal-status Critical
Anticipated expiration legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M3/00Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M3/42Systems providing special services or facilities to subscribers
    • H04M3/50Centralised arrangements for answering calls; Centralised arrangements for recording messages for absent or busy subscribers ; Centralised arrangements for recording messages
    • H04M3/53Centralised arrangements for recording incoming messages, i.e. mailbox systems
    • H04M3/537Arrangements for indicating the presence of a recorded message, whereby the presence information might include a preview or summary of the message
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M3/00Automatic or semi-automatic exchanges
    • H04M3/42Systems providing special services or facilities to subscribers
    • H04M3/50Centralised arrangements for answering calls; Centralised arrangements for recording messages for absent or busy subscribers ; Centralised arrangements for recording messages
    • H04M3/53Centralised arrangements for recording incoming messages, i.e. mailbox systems
    • H04M3/533Voice mail systems
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W4/00Services specially adapted for wireless communication networks; Facilities therefor
    • H04W4/12Messaging; Mailboxes; Announcements

Abstract

A telephone message network which stores a <B>voice message</B> from a first person to a second person. The first person, is prompted by the network to supply, with the voice message, information identifying the second person and, once enough information is obtained to do so, the network sends a <B>text message</B> to the second person announcing the existence of the voice message and, on request from the second user to be sent the voice message, sends the voice message to the second user. In addition, the telephone message network includes a voice response controller which can execute all of the elements of a transaction in response to a specific demand, by voice, for that transaction such as, for example, executing the actions for acquiring and serving a new subscriber in response to the demand "subscribe" from the would-be subscriber. Also disclosed is a voice messaging system wherein caller line identification (CLI) is used to identify the caller leaving a message.

Description

Improvements in or relating to telephone communications control devices S

The invention relates to telephone communications control devices and especially to mobile telephone communications control devices.

Telephone communications systems including mobile telephones communications systems continue to offer more 10 facilities for personal communication.

It is an object of the present invention to provide at least one telephone communications control device offering enhanced facilities for telephone communications systems, especially mobile telephone communications systems.

15 The invention provides a telephone communications control device, including: means for receiving and storing a telephone voice message from an originating user-number for transmission to a destination user-number, 20 means for prompting the originating user to supply accompanying information, accompanying the voice message, identifying the destination user-number for the telephone voice message, means for receiving and storing the accompanying 2s information, means for generating a text notification indicating the existence of the stored telephone voice message for the destination user-number, means for sending the text notification to the 30 destination user-number and means for sending the stored telephone voice message to the destination user-number, in response to a demand

from the destination user-number, following the sending of the text notification to the destination user-number.

The invention also provides a telephone communications control device, including: 5 means for receiving and storing a telephone voice message from an originating user-number for transmission to a plurality of destination user-numbers, means for prompting the originating user to supply accompanying information, accompanying the voice message, lO identifying the destination user-numbers for the telephone voice message, means for receiving and storing the accompanying information, means for generating a text notification indicating 15 the existence of the stored telephone voice message for the destination user-numbers, means for sending the text notification to the destination user-numbers and means for sending the stored telephone voice message 20 to the destination usernumbers, in response to demands from the destination user-numbers, following the sending of the text notification to the destination usernumbers.

The invention also provides a telephone communications control device, including: 25 means for receiving and storing a telephone voice message from an originating user-number for transmission to a destination usernumber, means for receiving and storing accompanying information, accompanying the voice message, identifying 30 the destination usernumber for the telephone voice message,

means for generating a notification providing an explicit representation of a number to be called for the retrieval of the voice message and indicating the existence of the stored telephone voice message for the destination 5 user-number, means for sending the notification to the destination user-number and means for sending the stored telephone voice message to the destination user-number, in response to a demand 10 from the destination telephone number, following the sending of the notification to the destination telephone number. In one arrangement, the explicit representation of a number to be called is included with a text message and, 15 preferably, the explicit representation of a number to be called is included as text with the text message.

In an alternative arrangement, the explicit representation of a number to be called is included as an attachment to the text message, the attachment being 20 activated by a destination user-number request to receive the voice message.

Preferably, the means for prompting the originating user to supply accompanying information is arranged to effect the prompting in response to a call being made to 25 the control device.

Preferably, the means for generating the text notification is arranged to generate a text notification including a text message.

Preferably, the means for generating the text 30 notification is arranged to generate a text notification including information identifying the originating user.

Preferably, the device includes means providing a short message service (SMS).

Preferably, the means for receiving and storing accompanying information provides an interactive voice 5 response for receiving and storing accompanying voice information. Preferably, the means for receiving and storing accompanying information is arranged to receive and store accompanying information including keyboard-generated 10 information.

In one arrangement, the means for sending the notification is arranged to send the notification with a fixed delay following the receipt of the accompanying information. 15 Alternatively or additionally, the device includes means for receiving and storing accompanying information specifying a time delay after which the notification should be sent, wherein the means for sending the notification is arranged to send the notification after the specified time 20 delay.

Further, alternatively or additionally, the device includes means for receiving and storing accompanying information indicating a time when the notification should be sent, wherein the means for sending the notification is 25 arranged to send the notification at the specified time.

In one arrangement, the device is arranged to send a stored telephone voice message from an originating user-

number, belonging to a network providing a voice short message service, to a destination user-number belonging to 30 the network providing the voice short message service.

In an alternative or additional arrangement, the device is arranged to send a stored telephone voice message

from an originating user-number, belonging to a network providing a voice short message service, to a destination user-number, recognized by the device, belonging to a network other than the network providing the voice short s message service.

In another alternative or additional arrangement, the device is arranged to send a stored telephone voice message from an originating user-number, recognized by the device, to a destination user-number belonging to a network which 10 is arranged to provide a voice short message service, the originating user-number belonging to a network other than the network which is arranged to provide the voice short message service.

In an additional arrangement, the device is arranged IS to send a stored telephone voice message from an originating user-number, recognized by the device, to a destination user-number recognized by the device, neither the originating user-number nor the destination user-number belonging to the network which is arranged to provide the 20 voice short message service.

The invention also provides a method of operation of a telephone communications control device including: receiving and storing a telephone voice message from an originating user-number for transmission to a 25 destination user-number, prompting the originating user to supply accompanying information, accompanying the voice message, identifying the destination user-number for the telephone voice message, 30 receiving and storing the accompanying information,

generating a text notification indicating the existence of the stored telephone voice message for the destination user-number, sending the text notification to the destination user-

s number and sending the stored telephone voice message to the destination user-number, in response to a demand from the destination user-number, following the sending of the text notification to the destination user-number.

10 The invention also provides a method of operation of a telephone communications control device, including: receiving and storing a telephone voice message from an originating user-number for transmission to a plurality of destination user-numbers, IS prompting the originating user to supply accompanying information, accompanying the voice message, identifying the destination user-numbers for the telephone voice message, receiving and storing the accompanying information, 20 generating a text notification indicating the existence of the stored telephone voice message for the destination user-numbers, sending the text notification to the destination user numbers and 25 sending the stored telephone voice message to the destination user-numbers, in response to demands from the destination user-numbers, following the sending of the text notification to the destination user-numbers.

The invention also provides a method of operation of a 30 telephone communications control device, including:

receiving and storing a telephone voice message from an originating usernumber for transmission to a destination user-number, receiving and storing accompanying information, 5 accompanying the voice message, identifying the destination user-number for the telephone voice message, generating a notification providing an explicit representation of a number to be called for the retrieval of the voice message and indicating the existence of the 10 stored telephone voice message for the destination user-

number, sending the notification to the destination user-

number and sending the stored telephone voice message to the 15 destination user-number, in response to a demand from the destination telephone number, following the sending of the notification to the destination telephone number.

Additionally or alternatively, the invention provides a telephone communications control device including: 20 input means connected to receive a telephone call from a caller, capable of both receiving the utterances of the caller and identifying the number of the caller, an interactive voice response controller which is connected to the input means and, in operation, executes a 25 transaction in response to an utterance from the caller and storage means for storing information relating to the transaction, the interactive voice response controller storing, in the storage means, information relating to the transaction, 30 the information including the number of the caller.

Preferably, the interactive voice response controller creates an account for the caller.

Preferably, the interactive voice response controller creates an account which allows the caller to send voice 5 messages to and receive voice messages from other users.

Preferably, the interactive voice response controller creates an account for a voice short message service.

Preferably, the device includes output means which, in operation, provides the caller with information relating to 10 the transaction.

Preferably, the output means provides the caller with information including a security access code.

Preferably, the output means provides the caller with information including a service access telephone number.

15 Preferably, the output means provides the information in text form.

Preferably, the interactive voice response controller responds to a single-word utterance.

Preferably, the interactive voice response controller 20 responds to the utterance "subscribe".

As a further addition or alternative, the invention provides a telephone voice-mail control device including: input means connected to receive telephone calls to a plurality of numbers, capable of identifying the number of 25 the caller and of identifying the number called, means for identifying a recipient for voice-mail from the number of the caller and the number called and control means which, in operation, provides the voice-

mail service, to the caller, in relation to the identified 30 recipient for voice-mail.

Preferably, the control means provides a voice short message service for recording a message from the caller to the identified recipient.

As still a further addition or alternative, the 5 invention provides a telephone voice-mail control device including: input means connected to receive telephone calls to a plurality of numbers, capable of identifying the number of the caller and of identifying the number called, 10 means for identifying a source of voice-mail from the number called and the number of the caller and control means which, in operation, provides the voice-

mail service, to the caller, in relation to the identified source of voice-mail.

15 Preferably, the control means provides a voice short message service for retrieving a message, for the caller, from the identified source of voice-mail.

Two telephone communications control devices and a telephone voice-mail control device in accordance with the 20 invention will now be described by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings in which: Fig. 1 shows, in block diagram form, a telephone communications system including a first telephone communications control device in accordance with the 25 invention, Fig. 2 shows, in flow chart form, the manner of operation of a second telephone communications control device in accordance with the invention, Fig. 3 shows, in flow chart form, the manner of 30 operation of a telephone voice-mail control device in accordance with the invention and

Fig. 4 shows, in block diagram form, a transaction control means forming a part of an interactive voice response controller which may be included in the telephone communications control device of Fig. 1 and provides 5 control of the transactions of Fig. 2.

Referring to Fig. 1 of the accompanying drawings, the telephone communications system includes a first network 1 to which first user 2 and a second user 3 are connected. The first and second users 2 and 3 are 10 representative of a first plurality of users, connected to the first network 1, subscribing to the services available within the first network 1.

The first network 1 represents a network providing the same services to the first plurality of users represented 15 by the users 2 and 3 and may be a part of, all of or include a mobile telephone network.

The first network 1 is connected to an interface device 4 through which the first network 1 is connectable to a second network 5, representative of a second network 20 to which the first network 1 is connectable.

The second network 5 may be a mobile telephone network, a public switched telephone network (PSTN) or may be a combination of a mobile telephone network and a public switched telephone network.

25 Third and fourth users 6 and 7 are connected to the second network 5. The second network 5 is representative of a second network providing services to third and fourth users 6 and 7 who are representative of a second plurality of users subscribing to the services available within the 30 second network 5.

The interface device 4 is connected to a computer network interface device 8 through which the first network

1 is connectable to further users 9 and 10 representative, in this case, of a plurality of computers or other data processing devices.

A telephone communications control device 11, in 5 accordance with the invention, includes an interactive voice response controller 111, a voice short message service controller 112 and a memory store 113. The interactive voice response controller 111 is connected to the voice short message service controller 112 and to the 10 memory store 113. The voice short message service controller 112 is connected to the memory store 113 and connected into the first network 1.

In the operation of the first network 1 employing the communications control device 11, the first user 2 selects 15 the voice short message service controller 112 by dialling the allocated number of the voice short message service controller 112 through the first network 1. The first user 2 is identified by his telephone identity (CLI) number as the calling number. The voice short message service 20 controller 112 activates the interactive voice response controller 111 which is capable of conducting a dialogue with the first user 2 during which the first user 2 is able to provide a voice-message recording and a destination telephone number to the voice short message service 25 controller 112. In this instance, the destination telephone number is that of the second user 3, as another user connected to the network 1.

An example of the dialogue which interactive voice response controller 111 conducts with the first user 2 is 30 as follows: Interactive voice response controller - Please say or enter the telephone number.

The first user 2 recites - 07779649623.

Interactive voice response controller - You said 07779649623, is that correct? The first user 2 says - Yes.

5 Interactive voice response controller - Please record your message after the tone.

The first user 2 says - Marco, Paul asked me to tell you that the meeting tomorrow morning has been cancelled.

Interactive voice response controller - Would you like 10 to add other recipients to, review, delete, re-record or send your message? The first user says - Send.

Interactive voice response controller - Your message has been sent. What would you like to do? 15 The first user 2 terminates the operation by hanging up. The information "Your message has been sent" from the interactive voice response controller 111 indicates that the voice short message service controller 112 has sent an 20 indication to the second user 3 that a voice message has been left for him. The voice message is held in the memory store 113 to which the interactive voice response controller 111 and the voice short message service controller 112 are connected.

25 In order to retrieve the voice message, the second user 3 dials the allocated number of the voice short message service controller 112 which identifies the second user 3 by his telephone identity (CLI) number and activates the interactive voice response controller 111.

30 An example of the dialogue which the interactive voice response controller conducts with the second user 3 is as follows:

Interactive voice response controller - You have one message. The message is played back by the voice short message service controller 112.

s Interactive voice response controller - Your options are repeat, reply or send new message.

Second user says - Reply Interactive voice response controller - Please record your message after the tone.

10 Second user says - Thanks for letting me know. Paul, I told you they were not interested.

Interactive voice response controller - Would you like to add other recipients, review, delete, re-record or send the message? 15 Second user says - Add recipient Paul.

Interactive voice response controller - Paul has been added as recipient. Would you like to add other recipients? Second user says - Send.

Interactive voice response controller - Your message 20 has been sent. What would you like to do? The second user 3 terminates the operation by hanging up. The voice short message service controller 112 sends an indication to the first user 2 that a message has been 25 left for him and also informs Paul.

The indications that a voice message has been left may be in the form of a text message, for example an SMS text message, where the user terminals for the first and second users 2 and 3 are suitably equipped with display devices.

30 In the situation where text messages are sent to indicate the existence of voice messages, the text messages are generated by the voice short message service controller

112. Otherwise, some form of two-state indicator, for example a lamp which may be illuminated or not illuminated, is adequate.

The primary function of the memory store 113 is the 5 recording of voice messages with details of the sender or originator. The memory store 113 may also include contact lists permitting the first user, in sending the message in the above example, to indicate the destination of his message as "Marco" rather than the number "07779649623" or, 10 as is indicated above in the reply by the second user, to identify another recipient by name, for example Paul, rather than by number. Further, the memory store may include distribution lists permitting a message to be sent to a plurality of persons on a distribution list by naming 15 the distribution list.

A short message service (SMS) device is included in the voice short message service controller 112 and delivers the indication to users that a voice message has been left for them.

20 The voice message facility is available to the data processing terminals 9 and 10. In the case of the terminals 9 and 10, which can exchange e-mail, the communications control device 11 permits the recording, by the terminal 9, say, of a voice message and the delivery of the message to 25 the terminal 10 as a voice message attachment to e-mail.

The voice short message service controller 112 is capable of sending the indication that a voice message is awaiting collection by a user as soon as the message is deposited with the voice short message service controller 30 112. Alternatively, the indication may be sent after a fixed delay or a user-specified delay or at a user-

specified time, with suitable modification of the dialogue

of the interactive voice response controller 111 in order to obtain the additional information.

The voice message provisions, described above, which are available to users of the first network 1 may extend to 5 users, such as the users 6 and 7, who are not users of the first network 1, to receive voice messages from users of the first network 1.

A first extended arrangement of the extended voice message provisions permits a user of the first network 1 to JO deposit a voice message for a user who is not a user of the first network 1. In the first arrangement, the destination number for the voice message is a number belonging to a user, for example the user 6, who is a user of the second network 5 but not of the first network 1. In that 15 arrangement, the destination number of the user 6, say, has been provided by a user of the first network 1 and, for that reason, is included in a list held at the first network 1. The communications control device 11 recognises the destination number and sends the indication with a 20 call-back number, providing access to the voice short message service, to the user 6, to the effect that a voice message has been deposited for the user 6. The user 6 is able to retrieve the voice message and may be allowed to reply. 25 In the first extended arrangement, the call-back number represents an explicit representation of a number to be called for the retrieval of the voice message and may be included as text with a text message or, alternatively, as an attachment to the text message, the attachment being 30 activated by a destination user-number request to receive the voice message. A text prompt, for example, "Press # to

receive your voice message" may direct the destination-user 6 in requesting to receive the voice message.

In a second extended arrangement, the user 6 is provided with an access number for contacting the voice 5 short message service, permitting the user 6 to deposit a voice message for a user of the first network l, as a part of the service provided to a user of the first network l.

In the second extended arrangement, the user 6 gains access to the voice short message service by the use of the access 10 number and deposits a message for a user of the first network 1.

In a third extended arrangement, the user 6 is in a position to deposit voice messages for a user who is not a user of the first network l. In the third extended 15 arrangement, the user 6 is provided with a special access number and information relating to selected users, including the user 6, who are not users of the first network l, are included in the information stored in the control device ll. By the use of the special access number, 20 the user 6 is able to deposit voice messages for the selected users and the selected users can retrieve their voice messages.

The SMS device included in the communications control device is one that permits the exchange of text messages 25 between the users 2 and 3. The length of such text messages is subject to an overall limit set by the SMS protocol but experience shows that message lengths are subject to a lower limit set by the endurance of a user in typing a message on the keyboard of a mobile telephone.

30 telephone communications control device in accordance with the invention eliminates the need to type messages, allowing the messages to be of any length. Voice

messages are less impersonal than typed messages and hands-

free operation is extended to the sending of messages.

Also, the message itself is not restricted by the characters provided by the keyboard, permitting the use of 5 a mobile phone, say, to send messages in a language for which its keyboard provides no characters or where the user may experience difficulty in spelling. The provision of a facility for providing at least some of the destination information as keyboard entries is, of course, not 10 excluded.

A telephone communications control device in accordance with the invention may function as a separate message control device as shown in the accompanying Fig. 1 or may be integrated partially or totally into a network 15 permitting the exchange of voice/e-mail messages.

As will be evident to those skilled in the art, a telephone telecommunications control device in accordance with the invention may be implemented in hardware or in a mixture of hardware and software or entirely in software.

20 Referring to Fig. 2 of the accompanying drawings, a second telephone communications control device includes input means which responds to a service number being called by providing access to an interactive voice response controller responsive to the utterance "subscribe" (step 25 201). Transaction control means in the interactive voice response controller checks the identity of the calling telephone (step 202) and, if the calling telephone fails to provide recognized identity information, terminates the call (step 203).

30 If recognized identity information is provided by the calling telephone, the transaction control means proceeds by creating and storing a security access code or personal

identification number (PIN) alongside the identification information provided by the calling telephone (step 204).

The transaction control means also establishes an account and a message store for the new user (step 205) and, in 5 addition, a "contacts" store for the names and numbers of persons with whom the new user has contact (step 206).

Names and numbers in the "contacts" store are provided subsequently by the new user. The transaction control means then checks whether the information generated at steps 204, 10 205 and 206 has been accepted by the remainder of the system, in particular its database (step 207). If the information has not been accepted the transaction is terminated (step 208), otherwise the transaction continues to completion (steps 209, 210) and the new user then hangs 15 up or the device ends the operation (step 211). At step 208, the caller is informed, by voice, of the reason for the termination of the transaction before completion.

At step 209, the new user is notified, using the SMS, the allocated security access code or PIN number and 20 other information including a service access telephone number required to use the service, where contact names may be entered and settings updated, requiring the use of the security access code or PIN number.

At step 210, the new user is notified, using the SMS, 25 that the transaction has been successfully completed and advised that the account details will be forwarded, also, via SMS.

An utterance other than "subscribe" or an utterance including more than one word may be used to specify the 30 transaction. Also, transactions other than a subscription transaction may be executed by a telephonecommunications control device specialized to the other transaction.

The second telephone communications control device may be included in the first device represented by Fig. 1 or may operate as a stand-alone device.

Referring to Fig. 3 of the accompanying drawings, a 5 voice-mail control device includes input means which responds to an incoming call by checking that the identity of the calling telephone is recognized (steps 301, 302).

There is no response if the identity of the calling telephone is not recognized. If the identity of the calling 10 telephone is recognized, the device checks on whether the called number meets a specified condition (step 303). If the caller identity is recognized but the called number does not met the specified condition, the call is dealt with as a standard call.

15 In the case represented by Fig. 3, the specified condition is that the called number should exceed a particular number such as 020 7759 6000, say. According to Fig. 3, the called number is 020 7759 6001 and satisfies the specified condition for proceeding past step 303. At 20 step 304, the device identifies the called number and the caller identity, carried by the caller's telephone, as indicating that the caller wishes to use the VSMS service to record a voice message for Marco, a named associate of the caller listed in the system to which the voice-mail 25 control device belongs. At step 305, the device prompts the caller "record your message to Marco."

Following the prompt "record your message to Marco", means are activated for effecting the recording of a "message to Marco" and recording is effected (step 306). In 30 order to complete the service, the caller can hang up (step 307), in which case Marco is informed of the existence of

the recorded message through the SMS (text) service and receives the voice message when he so requests (step 308).

As an alternative to hanging up, the caller can stop speaking, in which case the caller is prompted to select a 5 further service, including reviewing or sending the recorded message. If the caller then says "send" or "send message", Marco is informed of the existence of the recorded message by SMS and receives the message when he so requests. 10 As an alternative to either hanging up or stopping speaking, the caller can press #, in which case the caller is prompted to select a further service and, thereafter, the procedure is the same as for the caller stopping speaking. 15 Marco's number is obtained from associated storage means. The numbers of 020 7759 6002 to 020 7759 6009, say, may be used for other associates of the caller who has notified the system of those other associates.

20 The entries relating the associates to the caller may be auto provisioned by the system by sending the details in a VCARD format using SMS or via OTA or binary SMS.

In an alternative arrangement, at a step corresponding to step 304 of Fig. 3, the device recognizes the called 25 number as indicating that the caller wishes to use the VSMS service to retrieve a voice message from Marco, a named associate of the caller in the use of the system to which the device belongs, rather than to record a message. After that, in the alternative arrangement, the operating steps 30 differ from those of Fig. 3 and permit the user to retrieve a recorded message rather than to record a message.

The facilities for using the VSMS service to record a message for Marco and to retrieve a message from Marco, when the user calls a particular number, may be combined in an arrangement in which a first particular number is 5 allocated to recording messages for Marco and a second particular number is allocated to retrieving messages from Marco. The voice-mail control device represented by Fig. 3 may be included in the first device represented by Fig. l 10 or may be included in the combined devices of Figs. l and 2 or may operate with the device of Fig. 2 or may operate as a stand-alone device.

Referring to Fig. 4 of the accompanying drawings, a transaction control means Till for the device which 15 operates in accordance with Fig. 2 may be included in the interactive voice response controller Ill of Fig. 1.

Interactive voice response controllers, voice short message service controllers and memory stores are standard elements of telephone communications control devices but 20 telephone communications control devices and voice-mail control devices providing the facilities disclosed herein are not known.

Claims (44)

1. A telephone communications control device, including: means for receiving and storing a telephone voice s message from an originating user-number for transmission to a destination user-number, means for prompting the originating user to supply accompanying information, accompanying the voice message, identifying the destination user-number for the telephone 10 voice message, means for receiving and storing the accompanying information, means for generating a text notification indicating the existence of the stored telephone voice message for the 15 destination user-number, means for sending the text notification to the destination user-number and means for sending the stored telephone voice message to the destination user-number, in response to a demand 20 from the destination user-number, following the sending of the text notification to the destination user-number.
2. A telephone communications control device, including: means for receiving and storing a telephone voice 25 message from an originating user-number for transmission to a plurality of destination user-numbers, means for prompting the originating user to supply accompanying information, accompanying the voice message, identifying the destination user-numbers for the telephone 30 voice message, means for receiving and storing the accompanying information,
means for generating a text notification indicating the existence of the stored telephone voice message for the destination user-numbers, means for sending the text notification to the s destination user-numbers and means for sending the stored telephone voice message to the destination user-numbers, in response to demands from the destination user-numbers, following the sending of the text notification to the destination usernumbers.
3. A telephone communications control device, including: means for receiving and storing a telephone voice message from an originating usernumber for transmission to a destination user-number, 15 means for receiving and storing accompanying information, accompanying the voice message, identifying the destination user-number for the telephone voice message, means for generating a notification providing an 20 explicit representation of a number to be called for the retrieval of the voice message and indicating the existence of the stored telephone voice message for the destination user-number, means for sending the notification to the destination 25 user-number and means for sending the stored telephone voice message to the destination user-number, in response to a demand from the destination telephone number, following the sending of the notification to the destination telephone 30 number.
4. A device as claimed in claim 3, wherein the explicit representation of a number to be called is included with a text message.
5 5. A device as claimed in claim 4, wherein the explicit representation of a number to be called is included as text with the text message.
6. A device as claimed in claim 4, wherein the explicit 10 representation of a number to be called is included as an attachment to the text message, the attachment being activated by a destination user-number request to receive the voice message.
15
7. A device as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2, wherein the means for prompting the originating user to supply accompanying information is arranged to effect the prompting in response to a call being made to the control device.
8. A device as claimed in any one of claims 1, 2 or 7, wherein the means for generating the text notification is arranged to generate a text notification including a text message.
9. A device as claimed in claim 8, wherein the means for generating the text notification is arranged to generate a text notification including information identifying the originating user.
10. A device as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 9, including means providing a short message service (SMS).
11. A device as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 10, wherein the means for receiving and storing accompanying information provides an interactive voice response for 5 receiving and storing accompanying voice information.
12. A device as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 11, wherein the means for receiving and storing accompanying information is arranged to receive and store accompanying 10 information including keyboard-generated information.
13. A device as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 12, wherein the means for sending the notification is arranged to send the notification with a fixed delay following the 15 receipt of the accompanying information.
14. A device as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 13, including means for receiving and storing accompanying information specifying a time delay after which the 20 notification should be sent, wherein the means for sending the notification is arranged to send the notification after the specified time delay.
15. A device as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 14, 25 including means for receiving and storing accompanying information indicating a time when the notification should be sent, wherein the means for sending the notification is arranged to send the notification at the specified time.
30
16. A device as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 15, arranged to send a stored telephone voice message from an originating user-number, belonging to a network providing a
voice short message service, to a destination user-number belonging to the network providing the voice short message service. 5
17. A device as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 16, arranged to send a stored telephone voice message from an originating user-number, belonging to a network providing a voice short message service, to a destination user-number, recognised by the device, belonging to a network other than 10 the network providing the voice short message service.
18. A device as claimed in any one of claims, 1 to 17, arranged to send a stored telephone voice message from an originating user-number, recognized by the device, to a 15 destination user-number belonging to a network which is arranged to provide a voice short message service, the originating user-number belonging to a network other than the network which is arranged to provide the voice short message service.
19. A device as claimed in any one of claims 16 to 18, arranged to send a stored telephone voice message from an originating user-number, recognized by the device, to a destination user-number recognized by the device, neither 25 the originating user-number nor the destination user- number belonging to the network which is arranged to provide the voice short message service.
20. A telephone communications control device 30 substantially as herein described with reference to Fig. 1 of the accompanying drawings.
21. A method of operation of a telephone communications control device including: receiving and storing a telephone voice message from an originating user-number for transmission to a 5 destination user-number, prompting the originating user to supply accompanying information, accompanying the voice message, identifying the destination user-number for the telephone voice message, 10 receiving and storing the accompanying information, generating a text notification indicating the existence of the stored telephone voice message for the destination user- number, sending the text notification to the destination user 15 number and sending the stored telephone voice message to the destination usernumber, in response to a demand from the destination user-number, following the sending of the text notification to the destination usernumber.
22. A method of operation of a telephone communications control device, including: receiving and storing a telephone voice message from an originating user-number for transmission to a plurality 25 of destination user-numbers, prompting the originating user to supply accompanying information, accompanying the voice message, identifying the destination user-numbers for the telephone voice message, 30 receiving and storing the accompanying information,
generating a text notification indicating the existence of the stored telephone voice message for the destination user-numbers, sending the text notification to the destination user-
s numbers and sending the stored telephone voice message to the destination user-numbers, in response to demands from the destination user-numbers, following the sending of the text notification to the destination user-numbers.
23. A method of operation of a telephone communications control device, including: receiving and storing a telephone voice message from an originating user-number for transmission to a 1S destination user-number, receiving and storing accompanying ir--rormation, accompanying the voice message, identifying the destination user-number for the telephone voice message, generating a notification providing an explicit 20 representation of a number to be called for the retrieval of the voice message and indicating the existence of the stored telephone voice message for the destination user-
number, sending the notification to the destination user 25 number and sending the stored telephone voice message to the destination user-number, in response to a demand from the destination telephone number, following the sending of the notification to the destination telephone number.
24. A device as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 20, further including:
input means connected to receive a telephone call from a caller, capable of both receiving the utterances of the caller and identifying the number of the caller, an interactive voice response controller which is 5 connected to the input means and, in operation, executes a transaction in response to an utterance from the caller and storage means for storing information relating to the transaction, the interactive voice response controller storing, in 10 the storage means, information relating to the transaction, the information including the number of the caller.
25. A device as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 20 or 24 including a voice-mail control device including: 15 input means connected to receive telephone calls to a plurality of numbers, capable of identifying the number of the caller and of identifying the number called, means for identifying a recipient of voice-mail from the number of the caller and the number called and 20 control means which, in operation, provides the voice mail service, to the caller, in relation to the identified recipient of voice-mail.
26. A device as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 20, 24 25 or 25 including a voice-mail control device including: input means connected to receive telephone calls to a plurality of numbers, capable of identifying the number of the caller and of identifying the number called, means for identifying a source of voice-mail from the 30 number called and the number of the caller and
control means which, in operation, provides the voice-
mail service, to the caller, in relation to the identified source of voice-mail.
5
27. A telephone communications control device including: input means connected to receive a telephone call from a caller, capable of both receiving the utterances of the caller and identifying the number of the caller, an interactive voice response controller wUlch is 10 connected to the input means and, in operation, executes a transaction in response to an utterance from the caller and storage means for storing information relating to the transaction, the interactive voice response controller storing, in 15 the storage means, information relating to the transaction, the information including the number of the caller.
28. A device as claimed in claim 24 or claim 27, wherein the interactive voice response controller creates an 20 account for the caller.
29. A device as claimed in any one of claims 24, 27 or 28, wherein the interactive voice response controller creates an account which allows the caller to send voice messages 25 to and receive voice messages from other users.
30. A device as claimed in any one of claims 24 or 27 to 29, wherein the interactive voice response controller creates an account for a voice short message service.
31. A device as claimed in any one of claims 24 or 27 to 30, further including output means which, in operation,
provides the caller with information relating to the transaction.
32. A device as claimed in claim 31, wherein the output 5 means provides the caller with information including a security access code.
33. A device as claimed in claim 31 or claim 32, wherein the output means provides the caller with information 10 including a service access telephone number.
34. A device as claimed in any one of claims 31 to 33, wherein the output means provides the information in text form.
35. A device as claimed in any one of claims 24 or 27 to 34, wherein the interactive voice response controller responds to a single-word utterance.
20
36. A device as claimed in any one of claims 24 or 27 to 35, wherein the interactive voice response controller responds to the utterance "subscribe".
37. A telephone communications control device 25 substantially as herein described with reference to Fig. 2 of the accompanying drawings.
38. A device as claimed in any one of claims 27 to 37, further including a voice-mail control device including: 30 input means connected to receive telephone calls to a plurality of numbers, capable of identifying the number of the caller and of identifying the number called,
means for identifying a recipient for voice-mail from the number of the caller and the number called and control means which, in operation, provides the voice-
mail service, to the caller, in relation to the identified 5 recipient for voice-mail.
39. A device as claimed in any one of claims 27 to 38, further including a voice-mail control device including: input means connected to receive telephone calls to a 10 plurality of numbers, capable of identifying the number of the caller and of identifying the number called, means for identifying a source of voice-mail from the number called and the number of the caller and control means which, in operation, provides the voice 1S mail service, to the caller, in relation to the identified source of voice-mail.
40. A telephone voice-mail control device including: input means connected to receive telephone calls to a 20 plurality of numbers, capable of identifying the number of the caller and of identifying the number called, means for identifying a recipient for voice-mail from the number of the caller and the number called and control means which, in operation, provides the voice 25 mail service, to the caller, in relation to the identified recipient for voice-mail.
41. A device as claimed in any one of claims 1 or 30 to 30 40, further including a voice-mail control device including:
j input means connected to receive telephone calls to a plurality of numbers, capable of identifying the number of the caller and of identifying the number called, means for identifying a source of voicemail from the 5 number called and the number of the caller and control means which, in operation, provides the voice-
mail service, to the caller, in relation to the identified source of voice-mail.
10
42. A device as claimed in any one of claims 2, 28, 29, 40 or 41, wherein the control means provides a voice short message service for recording a message from the caller to the identified recipient.
15
43. A device as claimed in any one of claims 2, 3, 28, 29 or 40 to 42, wherein the control means provides a voice short message service for retrieving a message, for the caller, from the identified source of voicemail.
20
44. A telephone voice-mail control device substantially as herein described with reference to Fig. 3 of the accompanying drawings.
41. A device as claimed in any one of claims 25, 26 or 38 to 40, wherein the control means provides a voice short 30 message service for recording a message from the caller to the identified recipient.
42. A telephone voice-mail control device including: input means connected to receive telephone calls to a plurality of numbers, capable of identifying the number of the caller and of identifying the number called, 5 means for identifying a source of voice-mail from the number called and the number of the caller and control means which, in operation, provides the voice mail service, to the caller, in relation to the identified source of voice-mail.
43. A device as claimed in any one of claims 25, 26 or 38 to 42, wherein the control means provides a voice short message service for retrieving a message, for the caller, from the identified source of voice-mail.
44. A telephone voice-mail control device substantially as herein described with reference to Fig. 3 of the accompanying drawings.
3_k Amendments to the claims have been filed as follows 1. A telephone communications control device including: input means connected to receive a telephone call from 5 a caller, capable of both receiving the utterances of the caller and identifying the number of the caller, an interactive voice response controller which is connected to the input means and, in operation, executes a transaction in response to an utterance from the caller and 10 storage means for storing information relating to the transaction, the interactive voice response controller storing, in the storage means, information relating to the transaction, the information including the number of the caller.
2. A telephone voice-mail control device including: input means connected to receive telephone calls to a plurality of numbers, capable of identifying the number of the caller and of identifying the number called, 20 means for identifying a recipient for voice-mail from the number of the caller and the number called and control means which, in operation, provides the voice mail service, to the caller, in relation to the identified recipient for voice-mail.
3. A telephone voice-mail control device including: input means connected to receive telephone calls to a plurality of numbers, capable of identifying the number of the caller and of identifying the number called, 30 means for identifying a source of voice-mail from the number called and the number of the caller and
3< control means which, in operation, provides the voice-
mail service, to the caller, in relation to the identified source of voice-mail.
5 4. A telephone communications control device, including: means for receiving and storing a telephone voice message from an originating usernumber for transmission to a destination user-number, means for prompting the originating user to supply 10 accompanying information, accompanying the voice message, identifying the destination user-number for the telephone voice message, means for receiving and storing the accompanying information, 15 means for generating a text notification indicating the existence of the stored telephone voice message for the destination user-number, means for sending the text notification to the destination user-number and 20 means for sending the stored telephone voice message to the destination user-number, in response to a demand from the destination user-number, following the sending of the text notification to the destination user-number.
25 5. A telephone communications control device, including: means for receiving and storing a telephone voice message from an originating usernumber for transmission to a plurality of destination user-numbers, means for prompting the originating user to supply 30 accompanying information, accompanying the voice message, identifying the destination user-numbers for the telephone voice message,
! means for receiving and storing the accompanying information, means for generating a text notification indicating the existence of the stored telephone voice message for the s destination user-numbers, means for sending the text notification to the destination user-numbers and means for sending the stored telephone voice message to the destination usernumbers, in response to demands 10 from the destination user-numbers, following the sending of the text notification to the destination usernumbers.
6. A telephone communications control device, including: means for receiving and storing a telephone voice 15 message from an originating user-number for transmission to a destination user-number, means for receiving and storing accompanying information, accompanying the voice message, identifying the destination user-number for the telephone voice 20 message, means for generating a notification providing an explicit representation of a number to be called for the retrieval of the voice message and indicating the existence of the stored telephone voice message for the destination 25 user-number, means for sending the notification to the destination user-number and means for sending the stored telephone voice message to the destination user-number, in response to a demand 30 from the destination telephone number, following the sending of the notification to the destination telephone number.
:: '':
7. A device as claimed in claim 6, wherein the explicit representation of a number to be called is included with a 5 text message.
8. A device as claimed in claim 7, wherein the explicit representation of a number to be called is included as text with the text message.
9. A device as claimed in claim 7, wherein the explicit representation of a number to be called is included as an attachment to the text message, the attachment being activated by a destination user-number request to receive 15 the voice message.
10. A device as claimed in claim 4 or claim 5, wherein the means for prompting the originating user to supply accompanying information is arranged to effect the 20 prompting in response to a call being made to the control device. 11. A device as claimed in any one of claims 4, 5 or 10, wherein the means for generating the text notification is 25 arranged to generate a text notification including a text message. 12. A device as claimed in claim 1l, wherein the means for generating the text notification is arranged to generate a 30 text notification including information identifying the .. Orlglnatlng user.
:: 13. A device as claimed in any one of claims 4 to 12, including means providing a short message service (SMS).
14. A device as claimed in any one of claims 4 to 13, 5 wherein the means for receiving and storing accompanying information provides an interactive voice response for receiving and storing accompanying voice information.
15. A device as claimed in any one of claims 4 to 14, 10 wherein the means for receiving and storing accompanying information is arranged to receive and store accompanying information including keyboard-generated information.
16. A device as claimed in any one of claims 4 to 15, 15 wherein the means for sending the notification is arranged to send the notification with a fixed delay following the receipt of the accompanying information.
17. A device as claimed in any one of claims 4 to 16, 20 including means for receiving and storing accompanying information specifying a time delay after which the notification should be sent, wherein the means for sending the notification is arranged to send the notification after the specified time delay.
18. A device as claimed in any one of claims 4 to 17, including means for receiving and storing accompanying information indicating a time when the notification should be sent, wherein the means for sending the notification is 30 arranged to send the notification at the specified time.
19. A device as claimed in any one of claims 4 to 18, arranged to send a stored telephone voice message from an originating user-number, belonging to a network providing a voice short message service, to a destination user-number 5 belonging to the network providing the voice short message service. 20. A device as claimed in any one of claims 4 to 19, arranged to send a stored telephone voice message from an 10 originating user- number, belonging to a network providing a voice short message service, to a destination user-number, recognized by the device, belonging to a network other than the network providing the voice short message service.
15 21. A device as claimed in any one of claims, 4 to 20, arranged to send a stored telephone voice message from an originating user-number, recognized by the device, to a destination user-number belonging to a network which is arranged to provide a voice short message service, the 20 originating user-number belonging to a network other than the network which is arranged to provide the voice short message service.
22. A device as claimed in any one of claims 19 to 21, 25 arranged to send a stored telephone voice message from an originating user-number, recognized by the device, to a destination user-number recognized by the device, neither the originating user-number nor the destination usernumber belonging to the network which is arranged to provide the 30 voice short message service.
{:: 23. A telephone communications control device substantially as herein described with reference to Fig. 1 of the accompanying drawings.
5 24. A method of operation of a telephone communications control device including: receiving and storing a telephone voice message from an originating user-number for transmission to a destination user-number, 10 prompting the originating user to supply accompanying information, accompanying the voice message, identifying the destination user-number for the telephone voice message, receiving and storing the accompanying information, 1S generating a text notification indicating the existence of the stored telephone voice message for the destination user-number, sending the text notification to the destination user number and 20 sending the stored telephone voice message to the destination usernumber, in response to a demand from the destination user-number, following the sending of the text notification to the destination usernumber.
25 25. A method of operation of a telephone communications control device, including: receiving and storing a telephone voice message from an originating user-number for transmission to a plurality of destination user-numbers, 30 prompting the originating user to supply accompanying information, accompanying the voice message, identifying
-in the destination user-numbers for the telephone voice message, receiving and storing the accompanying information, generating a text notification indicating the s existence of the stored telephone voice message for the destination user-numbers, sending the text notification to the destination user numbers and sending the stored telephone voice message to the 10 destination user-numbers, in response to demands from the destination user-numbers, following the sending of the text notification to the destination user-numbers.
26. A method of operation of a telephone communications 15 control device, including: receiving and storing a telephone voice message from an originating user-number for transmission to a destination user-number, receiving and storing accompanying information, 20 accompanying the voice message, identifying the destination user-number for the telephone voice message, generating a notification providing an explicit representation of a number to be called for the retrieval of the voice message and indicating the existence of the 25 stored telephone voice message for the destination user number, sending the notification to the destination user number and sending the stored telephone voice message to the 30 destination user-number, in response to a demand from the destination telephone number, following the sending of the notification to the destination telephone number.
I-:; (r:;: 27. A device as claimed in any one of claims 4 to 23, further including: input means connected to receive a telephone call from a caller, capable of both receiving the utterances of the caller and identifying the number of the caller, an interactive voice response controller which is connected to the input means and, in operation, executes a transaction in response to an utterance from the caller and 10 storage means for storing information relating to the transaction, the interactive voice response controller storing, in the storage means, information relating to the transaction, the information including the number of the caller.
28. A device as claimed in any one of claims 4 to 23 or 27 including a voice-mail control device including: input means connected to receive telephone calls to a plurality of numbers, capable of identifying the number of 20 the caller and of identifying the number called, means for identifying a recipient of voice-mail from the number of the caller and the number called and control means which, in operation, provides the voice-
mail service, to the caller, in relation to the identified 25 recipient of voice-mail.
29. A device as claimed in any one of claims 4 to 23, 27 or 28 including a voice-mail control device including: input means connected to receive telephone calls to a 30 plurality of numbers, capable of identifying thenumber of the caller and of identifying the number called,
means for identifying a source of voice-mail from the number called and the number of the caller and control means which, in operation, provides the voice-
mail service, to the caller, in relation to the identified 5 source of voice-mail.
30. A device as claimed in claim 1 or claim 27, wherein the interactive voice response controller creates an account for the caller.
31. A device as claimed in any one of claims 1, 27 or 30, wherein the interactive voice response controller creates an account which allows the caller to send voice messages to and receive voice messages from other users.
32. A device as claimed in any one of claims 1 or 27 to 31, wherein the interactive voice response controller creates an account for a voice short message service.
20 33. A device as claimed in any one of claims 1 or 27 to 32, further including output means which, in operation, provides the caller with information relating to the transaction. 2s 34. A device as claimed in claim 33, wherein the output means provides the caller with information including a security access code.
35. A device as claimed in claim 33 or claim 34, wherein 30 the output means provides the caller with information including a service access telephone number.
' j t: i 36. A device as claimed in any one of claims 33 to 35, wherein the output means provides the information in text form. 5 37. A device as claimed in any one of claims 1 or 27 to 36, wherein the interactive voice response controller responds to a single-word utterance.
38. A device as claimed in any one of claims 1 or 27 to lo 37, wherein the interactive voice response controller responds to the utterance "subscribe".
39. A telephone communications control device substantially as herein described with reference to Fig. 2 IS of the accompanying drawings.
40. A device as claimed in any one of claims 1 or 30 to 39, further including a voice-mail control device including: 20 input means connected to receive telephone calls to a plurality of numbers, capable of identifying the number of the caller and of identifying the number called, means for identifying a recipient for voice-mail from the number of the caller and the number called and 25 control means which, in operation, provides the voice mail service, to the caller, in relation to the identified recipient for voice-mail.
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US8675830B2 (en) 2007-12-21 2014-03-18 Bce Inc. Method and apparatus for interrupting an active telephony session to deliver information to a subscriber
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HK1072673A1 (en) 2006-07-14

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