MIAMI (CBSMiami) — It’ll soon be easier to get the last word when a Robocaller dials your phone.
Starting September 30, a new free service will be available that promises to stop the dreaded calls, but it’ll only work with some carriers.
New York-based software developer Aaron Foss developed Nomorobo while vying for a prize in a government-sponsored competition to stop the recorded calls.
Most robocalls have been outlawed by the Federal Trade Commission although political candidates are still allowed to use them.
Changing the law didn’t stop the practice so the FTC had a contest asking brainiacs across the country to come up with a device that would put an end to robocalls.
Foss was one of two winners who split a $50,000 dollar prize with his Nomorobo which works by weeding out computer-generated calls before your phone even rings.
“I like to think of it as a mute button for robocalls,” Foss explained.
Foss says his system uses a feature of the phone system called “simultaneous ring,” to foil Robocallers.
He said Nomorobo won’t block calls you want, like voicemails from the dentist or your kids’ school.
“What it does is – it lets one phone number ring on multiple devices,” he said. Foss says that enables Nomorobo to intercept every call and determine if it’s a robocaller or a real caller. If it’s a real person, the call goes through. If it’s a machine, the call is disconnected.
Foss says it all happens before the recipient even realizes they have a phone call. “As soon as you hear that ring, the call has already been picked up,” he explained.
For now, Foss’s system will only work for customers with Fios, Optimum and Vonage, companies that offer the simultaneous ring feature. But Foss is hoping consumer demand will soon convince larger companies to get on board.
Click here for information from the nomorobo website.