Telephone signaling systems have long known the likelihood that a person is either on their phone or not before the call is even placed. Extending that capability to the end user and providing the called party with a way of expressing their availability to receive a call is not beyond current technology. The benefits of saving time knowing whether a voice mail, email, or IM would be the best method to convey your message prior to "picking up the phone" would yield a significant cost savings over a modest amount of time. Softphones have the basic communications and integration capability currently. Certainly new mobile device operating systems could have this capability in short order as well.
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