Where do the names of our most important technologies come from?

Many of us would be surprised to learn that names like “smartphone” and “Caller ID” were conceived by marketing teams, not by the technologies’ inventors.

In fact, what we know today as Caller ID was extent for 16 years before Bell South’s marketing department named it such.

Early prototyping begins in 1968.

But back in 1968, Caller ID was a nameless prototype that fed alphanumeric call information into a receiver. The man behind that first model, Theodore George Paraskevakos, a Greek communications engineer, would tinker with his invention for the better part of the next decade, eventually filing 20 patents for the product and testing it with Boeing in Alabama.

Paraskevakos wasn’t without competition in his quest to build a system that could deliver a caller’s name and number. Around the same time, Japanese, American, and Brazilian inventors were all devising improvements on and variations of the automatic telephone identification system. In 1976, the Japanese inventor Kazuo Hashimoto created what we would come to know as the Caller ID receiver (Seven years later, he would also invent the digital answering machine).

Bell introduces the world to the concept of Caller ID.

Fast forward to the early 1980s and American telecom companies, led by Bell, began market trials across the country of what Bell had named “Caller ID.” The technology’s first deployment occurred in Memphis in 1988.

That was almost 30 years ago. Despite the initial spasm of innovation, Caller ID evolution has stagnated as telecommunications became globalized and mobile-based.

Today, despite the fact that the world uses more than seven billion mobile phones, standard Caller ID isn’t available for many mobile calls, nor is it accessible internationally. It also doesn’t cover Internet phones services, of which there are millions worldwide. Needless to stay, standard unchanged Caller ID, largely unchanged for the past two decades, isn’t cutting it in 2016.

Enter the new era of Caller ID accuracy and coverage, OpenCNAM by Telo.

OpenCNAM Plus isn’t Paraskevakos or Hashimoto’s Caller ID. While traditional Caller ID products arrived in the 80s and never left that era, OpenCNAM Plus was designed for the globalized, Internet-connected world we now communicate and conduct business in.

With OpenCNAM Plus, there are no more coverage gaps, so you can forget about not being able to receive call information on a mobile, international call, toll free, or VoIP call. OpenCNAM Plus gives you access to all those calls — spanning 229 countries covering 4.5 billion phone lines. Other Caller ID providers are only able to deliver 204 million lines.

Today, your business is international, and you’re conducting it on mobile and through the Internet. It’s about time your Caller ID caught up with the times.

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