Business Telephone Answering Machine Messages – A telephone answering machine, answering machine or messaging device, also known as a telephone answering machine (or TAM) in the UK and some Commonwealth countries, ansaphone or ansafone (from the trade name) or telephone answering machine (TAD) is used to answer . phone calls and recording caller messages. When the phone rings a set number of rings with a preset callback, the answer machine activates and plays either a generic announcement or a custom greeting created by the callback.
Unlike an answering machine, an answering machine is located on the user’s premises next to—or is part of—the user’s landline, and unlike operator messages, the caller does not speak to a human. As fixed lines become less important due to the transition to mobile technology and as unified communications evolves, TAD’s installed base is shrinking.
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However, there is controversy over the creation of the first practical answering machine for telephones. From 1930, Clarce Hickman worked for Bell Laboratories, where he developed methods for magnetic recording and worked on speech pattern recognition and electromechanical switching systems.
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In 1934, he developed the tape recorder, which the telephone company AT&T, as owner of Bell Laboratories, kept secret for years out of fear that the recording device would lead to fewer phone calls.
Many claim that the tape recorder was invented by William Muller in 1935, but it may have been created as early as 1931 by William Schergs, whose device used phonograph cylinders.
Schergs’ device appears in the film Behind the Mask (1932). Ludwig Blattner pioneered a telephone answering machine in 1929 based on his Blattnerphone magnetic recording technology.
In 1935, inventor Bjamin Thornton developed a machine for recording voice messages from callers. The device is also said to be able to track the time the recordings were made.
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Although many sources claim he invented it in 1935, Thornton actually filed an application (number 1831331) in 1930 for this machine, which used a phonograph record as the recording medium.
A commercial recorder, the Tel-Magnet, offered in the United States in 1949, played outgoing messages and recorded incoming messages on a magnetic cable. It was priced at $200, but was not a commercial success.
In 1949, the first commercially successful recorder was the Electronic Secretary, created by inventor Joseph Zimmerman and businessman George W. Danner, who founded Electronic Secretary Industries in Wisconsin. The Electronic Secretary used advanced 45-rpm phonograph technology for announcements and a wire recorder to receive and play back messages. Electronic Secretary Industries was purchased by General Telephone and Electronics in 1957.
Another commercially successful answering machine was Ansafone, created by inventor Dr. Kazuo Hashimoto, who used to work at Phonetel. This company started selling the first recorders in the US in 1960.
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Pagers became widely used after AT&T’s restructuring in 1984, when the machines became available and sales reached one million units annually in the US.
The first device after wt broke up was under the trade name DuoPhone and was sold by Tandy (Radio Shack). This device and its successor were designed by Sava Jacobson, an electrical engineer at a private consulting firm.
While early recorders used magnetic tape technology, most modern devices use solid state storage. Some devices use a combination of both, with a solid-state circuit for the outgoing message and a cartridge for the incoming message. In April 1982, James P. Mitchell demonstrated a working prototype digital outgoing message with incoming tape system at Iowa State University VEISHEA. This system won a gold award from the engineering department.
The first digital recorder released was the AT&T Model 1337 in 1990. activity led by Trey Weaver. Mr. Hashimoto sued AT&T, but quickly dropped the suit because AT&T’s architecture differed significantly from his pats.
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There are two options for answering an incoming call: (1) wait an arbitrary amount of time for operator intervention, or (2) automatically answer after a specified number of rings in a certain TAD state (eg “toll save” below). This is useful if the owner is calling and does not want to speak to all callers.
In any case, upon pickup, the caller should be notified that the call has been picked up (in most cases this initiates billing), either by an operator note or some sort of TAD welcome message, or to non-human callers (eg. e.g. fax machines) applying an appropriate protocol via a fixed line. In some cases, the terminal accepts the call with only sds with a slightly modified ring tone for the caller while processing the protocol.
Similarly, the called device can place a call by intentionally hanging up, due to some specific signaling or due to some time limit.
In the case of a voice-only connection, any incoming call can be forwarded directly to the TAD, which can be proactively replaced by a human-operated handset that takes over by simply picking up the handset and forcing the TAD (back) to close up. . Voice signals could simply be captured and reproduced from analog media (mainly tapes), but later TADs were transferred to digital storage, with all the advantages for compression and manipulation, both for greetings and recorded messages.
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Most modern answering machines have a greeting system. The owner can record a message that will be played back to the caller, or an automated message will be played if the owner does not record it. This is especially true for TADs with digitally stored welcome messages, or older machines (pre-microcassettes) with a special loopless tape, separate from the second tape, intended for recording.
There are non-recordable answer-only devices, where the greeting message was supposed to inform the caller of the current no-reach status or, for example, the hours of availability. When recording a TAD, the greeting usually includes a prompt to leave a message “after the beep”.
A dual-cassette answering machine has an outgoing cassette that plays a pre-recorded message to the caller after a set number of rings. Once the message is complete, the outgoing tape stops and the incoming tape starts recording the caller’s message, stopping when the caller hangs up.
Single-cassette recorders contain the outgoing message at the beginning of the tape and the incoming message on the remaining space. They first play the announcement, then go back to the next available recording slot, and then record the caller’s message. If there are many previous messages, fast forwarding can cause them to be significantly delayed. This delay is handled by playing a beep to the caller when the TAD is ready to record. This beep is often referred to in a greeting message and requires the caller to leave a “post-beep” message.
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The TAD can provide a remote control that allows the owner of the answering machine to call the home number and, by entering a code on the remote phone’s keypad, can write recorded messages or delete them, always away from home.
Many devices offer a “toll saver” feature for this purpose. This will increase the number of rings after which the device will answer the call (typically two, resulting in four rings) if there are no unread messages stored, but will answer after the specified number of rings (typically two) if there are unread messages . . This allows the owner to see if it is waiting for messages. If there is none, the owner can close, for example, the third ring without being charged for the call.
Some machines also allow remote activation if they have been disabled by calling and leaving the phone for a certain number of rings (usually 10-15). Some service providers drop calls after just a few rings, making remote activation impossible.
In the early days of TAD, a dedicated transmitter for DTMF (dual-tone multi-frequency signaling) tones was required locally for remote control, as the pulse dialing previously used was not suitable for transmitting an adequate signal across the active link, and multi-frequency tone signaling was implemented gradually.
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This refers to analog sites that support voice, fax and data transmission over fixed lines following specific protocols specified by the ITU-T. No incoming call can be identified by these features until it is “closed” by the terminal device. So, once received, calls must go to the appropriate devices and only the voice type is directly accessible to a human, but may still be routed to the TAD (e.g. after the caller has been identified or identified by recognized caller ID) .
Starting with the integration of fax machines into computers via fax modem, automated answering of voice calls from a computer with live transmission through specific software such as TalkWorks. These systems allowed for quite elaborate answering machine systems, navigating through two-tone multi-frequency signaling, allowing the computer on the (single) telephone line to sound like a business telephone system with hierarchical faxes and automatic call-distributor message boxes where the caller could save their messages, to leave their faxes, to be able to date
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