Slydial

Technology has certainly come a long way in bringing us together.

In the past couple of decades, we’ve seen the proliferation of the Internet and e-mail, advanced cell phones and their associated features: MMS picture and sound messaging, SMS text messages, advanced voice mail features, voice calls, Myspace pages, the Twitters of the world, and others.

Although, even with the advent of these readily available technologies, there is still the small percentage of us who enjoy our anonymity, our sense of privacy - our hands-off, unplugged, Zen-like lifestyles.

And for those of us who fit into this latter category, this MobileSphere company would like to provide us with a new tool to maintain our anti-social, passive-aggressive tendencies:

Enter Slydial.

What is it?

The technology lets you dial mobile phones but avoid an unwanted conversation — or unwanted intimacy — on the other end. Your incoming call goes undetected by the recipient, who simply receives the traditional blinking light or beep that indicates that a new voice mail has been received.

Why would you need it?

Suggested Uses (from Slydial’s website):

Play the field more effectively
You are dating quite a few people at the same time. You don’t want to leave them all text messages because there is nothing romantic about that. But a nice voicemail to each would score you points.

Maximize your time
You are working on a dozen different projects and have as many calls to return. Instead of being stuck on the phone with just one, leave each a voicemail with an update and you may just have enough time to enjoy Happy Hour.

Let them know that you didn’t forget
You just remembered that it is your friend’s birthday. You want to call her but it is really late and you don’t know if she is still up. Don’t take the chance that you might awake her from her beauty sleep. Instead just leave her a sweet voicemail with warm wishes and a promise of a belated birthday drink.

OK, I get it. And I could see it being useful for that occasional, unwanted return phone call or for avoiding any small-talk when you really just want to leave a voice mail message.

Tested:

slydial

So I gave it a try tonight and even stored the number in my cell for that “emergency” state of introversion (where I’d rather be donating blood than speaking to another human being). And guess what? Slydial sort of sucks.

I dialed the # on the Slydial homepage (267 area code), entered the number of the cell I wanted to dial, listened to the short advertisement and waited for my call to go through.

After all of this waiting, the service finally RANG the phone I was dialing as if I was making a regular call. There was no secrecy here; no privacy. My number showed up on the receiving phone, Las Vegas billboard-style.

After seeing this, I immediately hung up, since already the service had failed me… I was detected. My number was displayed on the recipient’s caller ID.

But the nightmare and disappointment didn’t end there: The Slydial service proceeded to call the number an additional 17 TIMES and leave 17 VOICE MAILS (all showing my number). It flat out did not work as advertised; in fact, it completely defeated its own purpose and reason for existing as a service.

Rather than protecting my identity, the service gave me up: not once, but 17 times. Brilliant.

I won’t make any attempt to make excuses for the embarrassing performance Slydial gave during its debut, especially since I’m on a stable, major cell network (probably the biggest) with a high-end smartphone making my calls. And with so much positive press on the Slydial service, it makes you wonder if any of these reviewers actually took the time to give the service a try.

Interesting idea, unique patent-pending technology, piss-poor execution.

Goodbye Slydial.

[Via The New York Times]

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