Jan. 29 - You can find out more than ever about the people on the other end of the phone line thanks to new technologies developed in Israel. Reuters Technology Correspondent Matt Cowan reports
As the old saying goes, you can tell a lot about a man by his shoes. But turns out, one's phone can be pretty telling too. The Israeli company CallApp is looking to take the mystery out of making and receiving calls. NAT SOUND OF VIDEO PROMO SAYING (English): "Wouldn't it be great if your smartphone was smart enough to provide you the exact info you need about anyone right when you need it? Well, once you install CallApp it will. CallApp connects your phone to a supersmart universal contact book that's constantly combining all the information on the web that people and businesses share about themselves with everything CallApp users share about their contacts." In London as part of a trade visit, CEO Oded Volovitz gave Reuters TV a demo. SOUNDBITE: Oded Volovitz, CallApp CEO, saying (English): "Okay, so now I'm getting a call and what I see first of all is the name of the person calling me, the picture of the person, our mutual friends from all the social networks. I can see your affiliation, for instance the school of journalim. I can see all of the websites related to you found over the web. I can see LinkedIn position (and) Twitter. I can see your last tweet. I can see your last (Foursquare) check in.You checked in at Apostrophe. When I press on it, it will open up the Foursquare account. I can see a map. There are pictures and stuff of where you've been to." Sound a bit creepy? Volovitz says the technology simply pulls information that's publicly available across the web into one place...but is pieced together with military precision. SOUNDBITE: Oded Volovitz, CallApp CEO, saying (English): "Most of our team are people who in the army did a lot of artificial intelligence stuff. So this is something that's very important, because we're all about artificial intelligence and getting to understand informaation very quickly about anyone." Advanced Validation Solutions is the name of another technology developed in Israel and which is now being used in Britain to detect fraudsters. This is a reconstruction of an actual call, demonstrating how a person's voice is monitored to help detect whether or not they're telling the truth. NAT SOUND OF DEMO VIDEO Lior Koskas is the managing director of the firm Digilog which offers the service in the UK. SOUNDBITE: Lior Koskas, Digilog Managing Director, saying (English): "It's analyzing the frequency of the voice. What we do is sample your voice when you're telling the truth and then from that moment forwards, anything you say will be compared to that baseline and any variation in the frequency which happens whether you like it or not when your telling truthful or false statement will be detected by the technology and will be displayed in a very simple manner on the screen." He says the technology is being used by banks, insurance companies and even the police. SOUNDBITE: Lior Koskas, Digilog Managing Director, saying (English): "Some might say that it's a bit scary, it's big brother but if you look at it from a geniune people perspective, geniune claimant perspective, this is something that will help them to get what they really need to get really quickly." This technology has been around for a decade, but Koskas says its getting more sophisticated all the time. CallApp is still in beta and so far only available on Google Android phones. In both cases, Israeli research is giving us a deeper understanding of the people on the other end of the line.