TalkPlus–Making Your Mobile Phone The Only Phone You Need
Quite honestly, I don't think I am going to be able to add a whole lot of insight to what seems to be the big story of the day–the introduction of TalkPlus. I tried to arrange a meeting with TalkPlus founder Jeff Black last week, but our schedules didn't align. Not happening this week since I am basically on vacation. I have a meeting scheduled for next week, though. You can read more detailed coverage from some other fine bloggers.
The basic idea is: your cell phone will have multiple personalities, namely multiple inbound and outbound telephone numbers. An applet on the phone will assist you in managing these multiple personalities. The multiple personalities will allow you to receive calls on multiple inbound numbers directly to your cell phone, allowing you to give a number to each client so you can track it specifically, be anonymous (e.g. dating situations), pretend you have a local number in a specific city, or any number of reasons why you wouldn't want to give your real number to someone. With the applet on the phone, you can also make calls as any of those number, effectively spoofing the Caller ID. Oh yeah, you can use it to make cheaper calls, too, just like Jajah.
Oh yeah, and it will link with Skype, too, both in terms of making and receiving calls to Skypers, but also IM to Skype users. And you don't need to run an agent on your PC or Mac like you do with Eqo. This won't be available immediately, but it should be available eventually.
I am looking forward to finding out more about this by both talking to Jeff Black and trying this out for myself. Considering my mobile phone is considered the only phone I use most of the time, and I know some other people who are in the same boat, this looks to be the the killer app.
Here's the real question: will these multiple inbound phone numbers support SMS? For me, at least, it's not just about voice. Sometimes I don't want to talk to someone, I want to text them. Since, to date, none of these "virtual number schemes" have supported SMS, I still end up having to know (or divulge) my real mobile phone number if I want to send (or receive) a text message.