Color Caller ID System

picon_1.jpgColor coding your friends and family

I don ?t get a lot of phone calls at the Central Division, but when I do, I pretty much know the call is going to fall into one of four categories; people I want to talk to, people I want to avoid, telemarketers, and work. A Caller ID system does let me know who is calling, but unless I want to get up and walk across the room, any caller is a distraction. The Color Caller ID System let ?s you group callers using a light up color display that gives you the advantage.

If I only had some way of knowing if the caller on the other end of the phone was someone I wanted to talk to or someone I want to avoid without walking over to the caller ID, I ?d save myself enough time each day to write more articles. In order to help me out, my wife decided to get me the Color Caller ID System from Brookstone.

Using a proprietary system, you can assign incoming calls to one of four colors; red, blue, green, and purple. Each color/category can hold up to 100 numbers, and after reading the manual, it is easy enough begin to assign colors when the calls come flooding in. People you want to talk to, like your significant other, friends, and co-workers, might get assigned to the blue category. Those you want to avoid like telemarketers, the office or your mother, might be assigned to the red category so you know not to pick it up (just joking mom ?seriously ?). It ?s actually quite nice to spend the time deciding how you will group your callers, and will probably cause issues at some point when your buddy finds out you ?ve filed him under purple instead of blue.

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I like the form factor of this system and it looks rather nice sitting among my other gizmos and gear in my office, without looking like another piece of junk (which the office also has plenty of).

I don ?t necessarily like having a phone in my office, mainly because my office doubles as the studio for the Coolness Roundup podcast. This usually means whenever I ?m recording a show with co-host Charlie White and the phone rings, we have to redo something. Because the Color Caller ID System lights up, I can turn the phone ringer to mute and still see the light to indicate an incoming call.

There are a couple of issues I have with the Color Caller. First, there are only four colors to choose from. I could really see five or six color combos that would make grouping even easier. When my wife calls, I would like to assign a color to her specifically, while work related phone calls (from all of the fine public relations reps I have the pleasure of talking to) could go in another group, and so on.

Even with the ability to slightly adjust the contrast of the read out display, on certain colors, like red and purple, the text is difficult to read at times. If there was a way to make the back light a normal white while still having the rest of the system change colors it would make for a better design.

Finally, the accept/reject options were difficult to get the hang of early on because there isn ?t a yes/no or delete/accept button, just the lone trashcan button.

Overall I ?ve enjoyed using the Color Caller ID System, and find it a welcome addition to the dungeon I call my office. It ?s only $20, and I give it a Strong Buy Recommendation.

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher is one of those guys that has always loved comics but never got into them until really late in life - like high school in the 80s. He just missed the Crisis on Infinite Earths, but has been around for every major crossover since. Stephen knows his way around video and film production having been a director, producer, editor, and motion graphics artist for projects ranging from small promotional pieces for Wachovia all the way up to regional videos for the Division of Emergency Management. As a prolific writer, Stephen began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen also freelances for the Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog. When not writing, Stephen shares his knowledge as a tenured faculty member at Fort Hays State University. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. Favorite Writers: Mark Waid, Geoff Johns, Paul Dini, Adam Beechen, Bill Willingham, Matthew Sturges Favorite Artists: Dan Jurgens, Alex Ross, Adam Hughes, Freddie Williams III

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