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View Full Version : Push To Talk A Needed / Wanted Feature?


Jon Westfall
06-23-2006, 10:00 PM
<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.infoworld.com/article/06/06/21/79478_HNpushtotalk_1.html?source=rss&url=http://www.infoworld.com/article/06/06/21/79478_HNpushtotalk_1.html' target='_blank'>http://www.infoworld.com/article/06...shtotalk_1.html</a><br /><br /></div><i>"The push-to-talk technology that lets mobile callers talk instantly with the push of a button has been standardized, a mobile industry group announced Tuesday at the CommunicAsia conference in Singapore. The Open Mobile Alliance's push-to-talk standard, called POC 1.0, has received the group's final approval, giving sellers of handsets and mobile application servers a way to make push-to-talk work across a multivendor network. It will also let subscribers make push-to-talk calls to people on other carriers' networks, said Jari Alvinen, chairman of the board of the OMA."</i><br /><br />Push To Talk (PTT) is one of those technologies that I waiver between thinking "That would really be cool" to "That would really be annoying" depending on the day. I do know that I feel sorry for those who have it and forget about it, leaving their purses and pockets to start talking to them without warning. Do you want PTT on your next device? Do you think it would be useful or less than optimal?

JonnoB
06-23-2006, 10:13 PM
While it can be annoying, it is also very useful. This is especially true in certain trades where a constant verbal connection is extremely handy. I know that in various construction trades, real estate, and others find it indespensable. I think having the feature with the option to change its behaviour (such as allowing for being offline but still take phone calls) would make it desirable for all. That said, I would not want this feature at the cost of other things that may be more desirable.

applejosh
06-23-2006, 10:19 PM
I find it annoying at just about all times (and mildly tolerate it the others). If there was a way to employ a STFU (shut the *%*[email protected]! up) button to make the other user take his/her finger off the button, then maybe. But as it stands (at least on the Nextel side of things), if the other user gets to talking, there's no way to get a word in edgewise. (And this happens frequently with my coworkers.) And the concept of "instant connection" is bogus. It lets you blurt out whatever you want to say, but the recipient still has to pull their phone out and open it or whatever. It's not instant. It just allows the first person to yell loudly and embarass the recipient. (And at least if no one picks up/answers, I get their voicemail on a normal call.) Not that I'm bitter about it or anything.

ADBrown
06-23-2006, 10:53 PM
I have no need or desire for PTT. I can only envision it being annoying, and if somebody really needs to talk to me, they can use the phone the way it was intended.

Sven Johannsen
06-23-2006, 11:07 PM
WHY? on a push to talk system does it have to be designed such that each participant has to hold the instrument a foot from their face, and either yell at it, or require the immediate vacinity (city block) to hear as well. WHY? doesn't it just use the regular mic/speaker as on a regular call, just requiring you to push the button to talk? Oh, wait, then it would be just a phone call.

I don't have one of these monstrosities, but doesn't the initiator have to at least pick the recipient out of a list before pushing to talk the first time? Is that significantly different than picking a name out of a list and dialing? Oh, yea, the PTT is instant (sort of) on the receiving end, not requiring the recipient to answer the phone before hearing (along with those around him) "Get your A$$ to the office." Guess it's the instant gratification that seems to be so important these days. Waiting for someone to answer the call, just takes too darn long. Never mind that the first response will probably be, "Could you repeat that, the phone was in my pocket (purse, briefcase, locker, desk drawer).

Maybe it's just the generation that likes this is too young to have ever had a CB radio. I'm really surprised I don't hear more "Breaker, breaker, this here's the Duck. How copy, over." "Hey, Duck, this is Bugger. Got you loud and clear, how me, over." "Five-by, what's your 20, good buddy?"

Bad enough I have to listen to one side of other's conversations. Having to listen to both is even less tolerable.

Kgragert
06-24-2006, 12:53 AM
For a Personal phone no.
But this feature is a workhorse in company I work for, it's cheap and quick. That said if any of my employee's push the [email protected]#n button and start to babble on, at least the people on his end get to hear me chew him out. Yes there is a private button where you use it like a phone with no annoying beeps or two sided conversations.

ctmagnus
06-24-2006, 01:41 AM
I'd rather have Push To Tazer, to use on those damn fools who inisist on using Push To Talk.

Having to listen to one side of somebody else's cell phone conversation is bad enough. Listening to both sides is far more annoying.

Remedy
06-24-2006, 02:06 AM
I'll keep it brief. If you don't work out in the field (Civil engineering, or Field technician, EPA, etc), then you probably have no reason to have want it. But to ridicule it as a feature is pretty ignorant.

The reason why you need to talk into it from half a meter from your face is because it's a shared technology with CB radio/Cell. Although, not as elegant as you see the Police/fire/EMS dispatch use on a regular basis. The receiver (boom) is cheaply design to keep the cost of the phone itself to a minimum.

applejosh
06-24-2006, 02:11 AM
I'd rather have Push To Tazer

:rofl:

Priceless...

OSUKid7
06-24-2006, 02:57 AM
I've never used a PTT device before, but I assume (maybe wishful thinking) that there's a way to turn off PTT capabilities when you don't want to be disturbed. Am I right?

If so, then I'd definitely like this in my next Smartphone. While I probably wouldn't use it that often, I can think of a few times when it would come in very handy, namely, when setting up computers with others, for LAN parties, etc. Really, any situation where you would need brief conversations with a few people, but you're too busy to stay on the line with them for a long time.... and I think that's exactly what PTT was (and good ole' walkie-talkies were) designed for.

Annoying? Possibly, but as long as you can disable this, I could see this being very useful.

Sven Johannsen
06-24-2006, 03:07 AM
The reason why you need to talk into it from half a meter from your face is because it's a shared technology with CB radio/Cell.
HUH? It's a half duplex cell phone. There is no technical reason why you need to hold it a foot and a half from your face to talk. You can... and you can do that with a regular cell phone too. Tell my the guy at the other end of your cell call doesn't hear the guy sittng next to you. The mics are sensitive. You need to hold it a foot and a half from your face because the PPT connect defaults to over amped speaker phone, and you don't want to hurt your ears.

You can get the same benefits, quick access, PA style broadcast to a group, without having it blast everyone in the area. I don't see the benefit to a field technician over a phone call. If the environment is noisy, get a headset. If you need to listen handsfree, and you can only listen with PTT because you have to PTT, use the speaker phone mode most decent phones have. You could even have two way conversations that way.

The one thing that isn't readily available with a regular cell call is the multiparty call. I don't mean three way, I mean the home office hitting all the field reps at once. That's a bit technically challenging with full duplex packet connections, but certainly not insurmuntable.

For those who care, http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/question530.htm

paschott
06-24-2006, 04:22 AM
Had it for a while @ my previous job. It was okay, but too true that nobody really bothered to figure out how to use it like a normal phone (and not broadcast conversations all over the place).

"What's that username and password for the admin account for the www.mycompany.com domain again?"
"Oh that's ....."

*sigh*

Usefulness ranged from nice to just have a quick conversation and drop off to people playing with it while walking down the halls.


All being equal, I've got a device I'm relatively happy with at the moment and don't see myself wanting/needing PTT in a future device.

applejosh
06-24-2006, 04:24 AM
I've never used a PTT device before, but I assume (maybe wishful thinking) that there's a way to turn off PTT capabilities when you don't want to be disturbed. Am I right?


For my Nextel, you can if you turn the whole phone off. :roll:


&lt;more ranting>
I really don't think it's necessary, needed, used for/by the vast majority of people. A select few industries might, but with all the unlimited "In" calling features and such, just call the freakin' people. Nothing more frustrating than listening to someone go on and on and no way of cutting in with the answer to the real question they asked 5 minutes before.

Edit: And the vast majority of PTT people use the speakerphone, which is even more annoying. Respect others around you, for cryin' out loud. No one gives a darn about your prostate exam, and I sure as heck don't want to hear the doctor's side of the conversation either.
&lt;/more ranting>

Jon Westfall
06-24-2006, 02:42 PM
Maybe it's just the generation that likes this is too young to have ever had a CB radio. I'm really surprised I don't hear more "Breaker, breaker, this here's the Duck. How copy, over." "Hey, Duck, this is Bugger. Got you loud and clear, how me, over." "Five-by, what's your 20, good buddy?"

This is actually the only reason I'd want PTT - to re-enact Convoy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convoy_%28song%29) anytime I feel like it.

ucfgrad93
06-24-2006, 07:35 PM
I don't have one of these monstrosities, but doesn't the initiator have to at least pick the recipient out of a list before pushing to talk the first time? Is that significantly different than picking a name out of a list and dialing? Oh, yea, the PTT is instant (sort of) on the receiving end, not requiring the recipient to answer the phone before hearing (along with those around him) "Get your A$$ to the office." Guess it's the instant gratification that seems to be so important these days. Waiting for someone to answer the call, just takes too darn long. Never mind that the first response will probably be, "Could you repeat that, the phone was in my pocket (purse, briefcase, locker, desk drawer).

Bad enough I have to listen to one side of other's conversations. Having to listen to both is even less tolerable.

Amen, I agree completely. I will never get one of these phones.

Ed Hansberry
06-24-2006, 08:50 PM
Amen, I agree completely. I will never get one of these phones.
If the feature could be turned off, fine, but if not, I would never get a phone with this capability.

birick
06-25-2006, 01:32 AM
Push the button (buttons) for my phone number and if I choose to answer we will talk. That is all the push to talk I need.

I do however keep a few GMRS radios with boom mic headsets in the tool box for those few situations that can benifit from their use. It is a less expensive alternative and IMHO is the right tool for the job.

Phillip Dyson
06-25-2006, 04:14 AM
I used to have a Nextel phone a few years ago and hated it.

It basically amounts to people beings able to intrude into your space at anytime whether its convenient or not.

If I could turn it off, like a mode change then maybe I'd consider it again.

Ryan Joseph
06-26-2006, 02:05 PM
I'm with Jon...I can't decide whether I think it's a good feature or not. There are days when I think, "Man, that would be so great!" and others where I'm so thankful that I don't have it. :-)

But my job doesn't require it...I don't work in the field or travel frequently, so for me it would just be a luxury item that would annoy those around me. :-) So for now, I'll pass.

But I think the concept is huge. The potential for this down the road is very big and could be very useful once we find other ways for the "immediate" type of talking, you know?