I found this link on a SlashDot link. It is a good example of two things. Once it shows a cool thing you can do with SOAP a.k.a Web Services. This link ia available with many other SOAP services on xmethods.com
. SOAP are web pages that are designed to be used by other web pages or programs. They expect a formatted question and give a formatted response. They can also be used inside an organization to share information between unlike systems. I have written Java and AppleScript simple programs to fetch and edit data coming from an MS SQL server through a series of ASP.NET pages.
The second thing this URL is a good example of is viral marketing. They have cast it out there for anyone to use. Just put in the license code of ‘0’ and it will work albeit with a small annoying message that will go away if you pay for their service. This is so cool that it virally spreads just from people showing it to other people.
Notify Phone Basic Web Service
So what is it. Well if you have not already clicked on it, I’ll tell you. It is a simple web service that when you invoke it, a computer dials the phone number that you provide, spoofs the Caller ID to whatever you want, waits for someone to answer and then speaks (TTS) the text that you provided. None of the techonologies are really exotic. Its just cool that they have put them all together in one process and are trying to find out how to make money on them.
TTS – Text to Speech has been around for year. Think of War Games (1981). I had a roommate in college who showed off his speech card that he could put in his Tandy 286. It was appartently just released from the Navy as some sort of technology release. It sounded a lot like the computer in War Games even though we were 6 years later. Macintosh System 6 had MacInTalk and Talking Moose. System 7 Pro added voice recognition to the mix all while Windows 3.0 was just trying to figure out how to make your drivers work with your sound card.
Phone dialing – This part is easy. Any modem can do this. I’m sure they are plugged directly into a switch or are doing this VOIP. What I’m interested in is how they are able to spoof the Caller ID. There may be a problem with that. I can certainly understand why they are doing it. It give the person you call a way to call you back withou giving out the phone number for the system. Think of eFax. I was able to spoof Caller IDs both local and out of area. They must have a pretty good bank of phone lines because the call was almost immediate.
I give props to CDYNE for what I will hope is a good product. Think of the potential. You can program reminder messages to a bunch of people and have those personalized messages delivered at a convenient time.
What is it missing? Natually, it needs some sort of confirmation system. Ideally this would be Voice recognition but touch tones would work. I’m sure that there’s some sort of log on the backend that you could query to confirm delivery of your message or even the response to a survey question.