Spurred on not only by the reward of finally ending those dagnabbed robocalls, but also a $50,000 prize, consumers submitted 744 ideas to the Federal Trade Commission in its FTC Robocall Challenge. Considering how widespread our collective annoyance is with the phone nuisances, we sure do hope one of these succeeds.
The FTC had been collecting submissions for three months and just wrapped things up. It’s trying to find a technical solution to block illegal sales robocalls on any kind of phone. Technical solution as opposed to a suggestion like, “just throw your phone out the window.”
We perused the list of submissions, each of which comes with a simple description, and our hearts were fairly warmed by the effort many people took to tackle the issue.
In-depth specs on each proposal are for the judges’ eyes and FTC administrators’ only. Each submission will be rated on the following guidelines starting next week:
Does it work? (50%)
Is it easy to use? (25%)
Can it be rolled out? (25 %)
Two prizes will be awarded: Best Overall Solution for individuals, teams, and small organizations ($50,000 prize) or the FTC’s Technology Achievement Award (non-cash prize) for a solution from an organization that employs 10 or more people.
Winners will likely be announced in early April 2013, says the FTC.
It’s worth it to check out the entire list of submissions, even if just for the fun graphics and random assortment of pictures accompanying each proposal. You can also filter proposals by type, like team versus an individual submisison. Here’s to hoping one of them sticks because I am tired of breaking my phone against the wall.