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What Is Talking Caller ID?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 16, 2024
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Talking caller ID, also known as TCID, is a type of telephone service that adds a voice component to the standard caller identification feature available through many telephone service providers. While traditional caller ID functions by displaying caller information on a small screen on the telephone unit, talking caller ID applications produces an audio transmission providing the number and often the name of the party who is calling. Typically, this feature requires the use of special software as well as telephone units that have a speakerphone capability.

With talking caller ID, the system identifies the data transmitted with the inbound call and creates an audio message that is played through the speaker feature of the telephone. Most software designs call for using an automated voice production component that announces the telephone number of the caller, the name of the caller, or in some cases both pieces of information. The end result is that subscribers can listen to the message without the need to check the caller ID display screen in order to ascertain who is calling.

In order to make use of the caller ID, the phone system must be equipped with the proper software to allow the caller ID data to be read and interpreted into a voice capture mode. Since the capture is created using information housed in the software, the pronunciation of names associated with the inbound telephone number may sometimes seem slightly stilted or not quite correct, but the end result is usually efficient enough to allow identification of the number that is calling. Along with having equipment designed to make use of the software, the subscriber will also need to purchase the basic caller ID feature through his or her telephone service carrier.

The nature of the talking caller ID function makes it ideal for screening unwanted calls from telemarketers of all types. This includes inbound calls from callers who block the automated number identification from being displayed on the screen. When this is the case, the talking caller ID will likely announce that the call is “out of area” or an “unknown caller,” allowing subscribers the option of either answering the call or letting the call go to voicemail.

Along with the availability of talking caller ID on traditional landline services, it is also possible to enjoy this service with mobile phones and even with telephone systems that make use of Internet capability for making and receiving telephone calls. Since not all types of telephones are equipped to make use of this form of caller ID, care should be taken in selecting a phone system that specifically mentions this feature among its basic functions. While the units may be slightly higher than more traditional telephones, it is possible to purchase a unit that can support the feature for about the same price as a decent quality speakerphone.

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Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including EasyTechJunkie, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

Discussion Comments

By RoyalSpyder — On Dec 10, 2013
Talking caller ID is an interesting feature, and it shows that technology has come a long way from the days of candlestick telephones.

We can even see how over time, phones have become more and more advanced. Candlestick telephones didn’t have anything that even remotely resembled caller ID. Many years later, that changed however, and you could eventually see who was calling.

With all the advances in technology, one can only wonder what the future has in store for us.

Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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