CenturyLink Working on Call-Screening Functionality

CenturyLink has filed a patent application for a do-not-disturb calling functionality that seems perfect for serious Hollywood mogul types who cherish their privacy: it calls for requiring calling parties to enter an authorization code to send a notification of the call.

Going beyond caller ID and the subsequent “let it go to voicemail” call-screening method, CenturyLink’s approach will let a user go into do-not-disturb mode so that the phone doesn’t ring in the first place, setting an authorization code in the process. Any calling party would then need to enter the code themselves, and if it matches, then a notification that the call came in is sent to the user.

“The instructions cause the processor to: activate a do-not-disturb feature for a telephone, establish a first authorization code, prompt a caller to input a second authorization code, and generate a notification if the first authorization code and the second authorization code are the same,” reads the  patent application.

The patent also calls for an appliance or “input/output” device that would that would carry out the do-not-disturb functionality, and for notifications to be displayed on the TV thanks to set-top box-based integration with its IPTV service.

“The growth of caller identification and voicemail are examples of communications methods that are simple and effective,” CenturyLink wrote in the patent application. “Despite the growth in the communications field, the methods for using do-not-disturb features and presenting caller identification are still quite limited to traditional methods and configurations.”

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