Ethan Garr and Bryan Moyles have won a competition hosted by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that offered a large bounty for solving the robocall problem, according to Consumerist.
Federal agencies get 200,000 complaints a month about robocalls. That’s gigantic. And they haven’t been able to come up with any way to stop the criminal slime who use VoIP to place millions upon millions of calls every day virtually for free.
FTC goes to the people for a solution
So the FTC put out the word about a competition called the Robocall: Humanity Strikes Back contest. It offered a $25,000 cash prize for anyone who could find a way to stop robocalls.
What Garr and Moyles have done is come up with a system that builds intelligence over time and creates the ability for landline and mobile phones to filter out nuisance phone calls.
Their winning submission, an app called RoboKiller, basically analyzes the first few seconds of your incoming calls to make sure noise patterns indicative of humans (not machines) are detected. It gets more complicated from there, but that's the basic idea. Their system also uses whitelist and blacklist filtering, much like your e-mail at work, so you can whitelist a number like your child's school that may send out robocalls with closing-related info.
How awesome that the feds turned to the people to come up with a solution! It just goes to show that you can defeat bad technology with good technology!