An innovative new service launched in the US by Sprint could replace long and hard-to-remember phone numbers with simple names.
StarStar Me as the service is called, plays off the unique * character on phones activating special features via star codes such as *69 to return the most recent call. Users would be able to StarStar call the person they desired to talk to by pressing the star key twice followed by the person's name.
And what is more users can do it whether they they were Sprint subscribers or were with rivals like Verizon, T-Mobile or AT&T.
The innovative service is seen to be a step in the right direction as it would relieve people from the bother of remembering long numbers or saving them into their mobile devices, a practice that harks back to the early days telephony when telephone numbers were actually a code representing people's physical location on the grid.
Commentators say, moving to a system where identity superceded specific details of technology was a good thing, which was exactly what Apple was doing with iMessage, linking multiple modes of connection to one person, and delivering a message regardless of which device it actually arrived on.
Google has been engaged in doing something similar for years with Grand Central, now Google Voice, that tied all customers' phones together with one number so that, regardless of whether it was a mobile phone one was using, an office phone, or a temporary SIM with a different number while travelling, friends and colleagues could contact one with a single number.