The Iphone Tapp
Here’s an idea for an invention: a cell phone that records every conversation you’ve ever had.
I know it seems like a simple idea, but just imagine the possibilities.
Maybe you had an amazing conversation with a friend, and you’d like to listen to it again as soon as you hung up. The personal cell phone tap could record that.
The audio could be uploaded quietly to a server, which would have terabytes of space for compressed audio. This way, you could potentially hold hundreds of thousands of hours of conversations. The data would be password protected so only you would be able to access it.
Listening to an audio recording is completely different than listening to a phone. The phone is more personal. It would feel like the person was really there. Imagine listening to an intimate conversation you had with your romantic partner. You could listen to the time you first talked to each other on the phone. The awkward silences and rambling chatter while you both tried to impress each other. The first time you asked her out on a date. And maybe if she left you, you could listen again, just to feel less lonely.
Imagine how powerful it would be to listen to a conversation with a loved one who’d died. Someone might listen to their grandpa’s voice again. He would be telling stories, and wishing you merry Christmas. Think of a funeral, where a very personal recording was played back for everyone.
The cell phone has become the confessional of the digital age. People share their closest and most personal secrets on cell phones. It is an automatic journal entry. A password protected novel of your life. And you could have it all for three easy payments of $29.95.
The problem is that cell phone laws in the US forbid anyone to record without the other’s consent. In fact, if you go into the options of your cell phone, there may be an option already to record a conversation. However, many of these built in cell phone taps emit a ‘beep’ every 10 seconds. My cell phone already records, but only for up to a minute.
I could just buy a miniature cell phone tap and tape recorder that I could just carry around with me everywhere I went, but that sort of loses the ease of use. Every time I got a call, I would be trying to finagle with the record button. And I might just forget to press record before I’ve had the conversation of my life, only to realize that it was completely lost.
So cell phones that recorded every conversation you’ve ever had would be illegal. I guess that would prevent lots of bad things from happening. Someone using an old conversation to make you look foolish, for example. Or to throw you in jail. But if it were illegal, I would still buy it. It might be worth listening to a conversation with someone I loved, just to relive that moment one more time.