Ringback tones are those beeps or rings that you hear when you call somebody before they answer their phone. Customised ringback tones were revolutionised by mobile phones, which allowed callers to hear one of their favourite tunes or pieces of music while they waited for us to answer. It wasn’t long before this caught on, and pretty quickly we were hearing comedy, favourite film quotes and personal messages when we made a call.
A ringback tone is effectively playing to a captive audience, and as we can now adjust the length of time that a phone rings for until it goes to voicemail or an answer machine, it was only a matter of time before companies cottoned on to the advertising possibilities this gave them.This ring back tone system allows corporations to effectively sell their goods when customers ring them with enquiries.
The latest ringback technology is looking at ways of creating a ringback for video calls so we get visual as well as audio playback while we wait for our calls to be answered. While this seems to be quite a way off hitting the mainstream, and with video calling not moving at the pace of other technologies, this is very much in its infancy, but the fact it has been rolled out as being tested effectively means it is only a matter of time.
As far a ringback technology goes, video imagery seems to be the end of the line. In reality where else is there to go? Sure, the video content will no doubt become personalised, or even to the stage we can watch snippets of TV shows or movies, but for the time being that is merely conjecture. All we as consumers can do is sit back, and wait to see what the boffins have in store for us.