Google SuperSizes CallerID


Not many noticed. But, Google just SuperSized  our CallerID!

Who doesn’t like CallerID? With it you know who is calling and you can decide whether to accept the call.

It wasn’t always like that. When Alexander Bell made his first phone call, did Watson know who was calling until Bell told him? Probably not. However that changed pretty fast and before we knew it phone networks were all over the place. At that time “CallerID” was the operator calling and saying “Operator calling, I have a call for Mr. Robinson, from Mr. James”.

Then  Direct Dial was introduced and we had to guess again who has calling, until CallerID  & CNAM as we know it today was introduced. With CNAM (CallerID Name) not only do we know what number is calling us, we also know the name of the caller. CNAM is such a big part of our telephone experience today that it is hard to imaging living without it.

But when you think of it, CNAM doesn’t really give you much besides the name that the subscriber registered with their telephone company, which in itself is not always accurate. What do you really know about the caller? Not much. Do you know who is actually calling? What they want? What is the context and the subtext of the call? You don’t! Wouldn’t it be great if you knew all this before the call?

Well, our friends at Google thought a lot about this issue and came up with a pretty innovative solution.  The Google Duo video chat app includes  a feature which Google describes as  “Knock Knock See the caller before you pick up with Duo’s live preview feature.”  Yep, before you answer  the call. you can see the caller in Live Full Color Video. Knock Knock takes CallerID to a new level. Now you can actually see who is calling and get some pretty good idea what the call maybe about.


Some pundits have pointed out that this function may lead to some very uncomfortable situations, since you see who is calling, but they do not know what is your status! What do you think? would you use Duo with Knock Knock?