Privus Mobile, amazing caller ID from I D You* has been awarded this year’s “Product of the Year Award”. We spoke to Greg Smith, the company’s CEO. I’m not sure if I really need a caller ID… Try to convince me I should absolutely use it.

Greg Smith: I’m sure you’ve received a phone call from an unrecognized number on your cell phone, leaving you with the eternal dilemma: Answer it or let it go to voicemail? Do you avoid answering the call only to be left with the thought that it could have been somebody of importance, perhaps a prospective employer or new customer? Or, do you take the chance of answering the phone and being confronted with the annoyance of a telemarketer, or a longwinded acquaintance you’ve been trying to avoid?

A lot of people would answer either of those questions with, “They’ll leave a voicemail if it’s important.” How reliable is that assumption? How many times has the call simply dropped rather than going to voicemail? Why not eliminate the uncertainty of how to properly handle incoming calls from unknown numbers? Real caller ID gives you more control over the calls you accept and decline, increasing privacy and call screening capabilities by putting a name to a number for wireless phone users.

Please describe how does your service exactly work?

Privus Mobile encompasses the convenience that landline caller ID provided, but with better accuracy. It identifies up to 95 percent of incoming calls from numbers that are not already stored in your phone. Our caller ID allows you to see the name and number of the incoming call, no matter the location of the person or the device they are using. After you have denied or accepted the call, Privus Mobile then gives the ability to store the number directly into your contacts list with a push of the button.

What exactly do I need to get it fully functional? Which devices and service providers do you support?

We wanted to make Privus Mobile readily available to all smartphone users, so we developed it with compatibility in mind. The application can be used on just about every smartphone operating system (Android, Apple, Symbian S60, Windows Mobile and RIM/BlackBerry), which provide either pre-call or post-call ID, depending on the device’s ability to support simultaneous data/voice.

The app does require a data plan, which is why we’ve limited support to smartphones. We work a little better with GSM carriers just because we can provide the caller information as the call is coming in due to the support for simultaneous data and voice. We still work with CDMA carriers, but we’re limited to providing the caller information after the call ends to not being able to send a data signal as the call is coming in.

Which platform it runs the best with?

Privus Mobile provides the same accuracy on all platforms with every major wireless carrier. The application works on all smartphones, which provide both pre-call or post-call Caller ID, depending on connectivity and the aforementioned carrier/OS capabilities. If we simply had to pick “the best;” it would be Windows Mobile or Android OS devices on ATT.

And how much does it cost?

In order to allow prospective customers to experience Privus Mobile before they commit to a subscription term, we have given them the option of a 10-day free trial. Privus Mobile can be downloaded for as little as $3.99 for a one month subscription, $11.99 for a three month subscription and $44.99 for a full year. Price can depend on the OS and carrier.

Who is your main market: corporate or individuals? How has the market responded to your product?

Business professionals and everyday mobile phone users have discovered the true luxury of having more control over the people they talk to and when. For example, business professionals often list their cell phones as the primary number for business contacts. They are consistently receiving calls from unknown numbers, but Privus Mobile gives them incomparable crowd control over the calls they receive on their cell phones.

One such customer testimonial that we received from a real estate broker raved about the way Privus Mobile has improved his business communications. He’s able to take important calls when needed and screen other calls when necessary.

Another testimonial came from a part-time college student who explained how Privus Mobile helped bridge the gaps between his academic, professional and social lives. These are excellent representations of how Privus Mobile can benefit people from all walks of life. That’s also why we recently expanded the availability with volume licensing and support for IT deployments.

You have recently launched new enterprise service. Please tell us a little about the main features it comes with.

We launched our new corporate enterprise service with the vision of making it easier for business professionals and entire sales teams to employ caller ID screening and caller name lookup services on company smartphones. The new enterprise service includes volume licensing rates that are exclusive to businesses and makes it easier for IT departments to push the service out to employees.

With the same benefits that are offered to individuals who purchase Privus Mobile, we are confident that real caller ID will be a great asset to business productivity by helping to improve customer service, strengthen sales leads and better manage important tasks.

Tell us a bit about the company background. Are there any other projects running by your team?

Accudata Technologies started developing telecom data validation services and Line Information Database (LIDB) storage in 1998. In 2002 we became a leading provider of flexible access to data validation through innovative approaches to data transmission. The company serves as an access hub for validating information associated with traditional, mobile and IP-based telephone numbers.

When we developed the technology to convert the SS7 signal we were using with Accudata to communicate caller information through carrier networks to IP signalling, we saw the potential to literally bring real Caller ID to smartphones. After winning the patent for conversion process, we started Privus Mobile. Accudate Technologies and Privus Mobile have won numerous awards for the innovative advancements each have made on existing technologies.

What are your plans for this year? Any new products to be launched?

We’re always exploring new ways to improve our service and capabilities. We’re anxiously awaiting the 4G rollouts from CDMA carriers like Sprint and Verizon so we can start providing real-time Caller ID to customers in those networks. In addition, we’re looking at new developments in the iPhone OS to further expand those capabilities. The Windows Phone 7 Series is also presenting potential opportunities and we are eager to see how we can make an impact on that platform.

One thing we’re also looking to implement across all platforms is text messaging caller ID for when you get those anonymous text messages from phone numbers that are not already stored in your phone. There are a few differences in the coding/signals that we have to workout with this venture, but we’re confident we’ll be able to deliver it to new and existing customers soon.

Additionally, we are in development of an “Audio Annouce” capability to automatically announce the name of a caller either via BlueTooth or through device speakers.

* Formed to launch the Privus brand, I D You, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Accudata Technologies.

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