Arguably, the first thing that most people say when they pick up a phone is "Hello." The word has become a popular greeting all over the world, but not too many people know about its origins and why it is used. Before ‘Hello' became popular, telephone operators used to start conversations with, "Are you there?" or "Are you ready to talk?" The man who made ‘Hello' famous was the same one who gave us the electric bulb and the ceiling fan - Thomas Alva Edison.
While working on improving Graham Bell's design of the telephone at Menlo Park Labs, Edison discovered that ‘Hello' was one of the best ways to start a conversation over a telephone because, according to him, it could be heard 10 to 20 feet away. Now, as telephone receivers were notoriously erratic, a word that could be heard clearly over a distance was quite a discovery. Not surprisingly, ‘Hello' caught on among telephone users and within a few years, telephone operators were nicknamed ‘Hello girls'.
All of which just goes to prove that you never know from where you might find the perfect interface. Interestingly enough, Graham Bell, the person credited with inventing the telephone, is believed to have preferred starting conversations with "Ahoy."