Summer Fun: Baseball and Phono

Last week, I wrote about the under-appreciated but impressive Phono, a jQuery plugin that lets you embed a softphone into any web page.

Phono is made by Florida-based Voxeo, a long-standing and innovative telephony software vendor.

With a pinch of JavaScript, anybody—developer, HTML-phobic designer—can add a voice channel widget, accessible from laptop, smartphone, or tablet.

What’s cooler than an embedded JavaScript softphone?

Connecting said softphone up with Tropo, Voxeo’s server-side telephony environment.

I usually free associate baseball, not JavaScript, with the month of August, so I decided to take on a small Tropo project to read back current major league baseball scores into my Phono widget, which I’ve conveniently inserted into this post.

Go Yankees!Continue reading

ITExpo East 2011

Babak Gholizadeh/Grand Bazaar, Istanbul

No, I’m not attending.

But I am soaking up this VoIP trade show’s ambiance remotely by dipping into tweets, blog posts, and video snippets.

At past VoIP conferences—it’s frankly been a few years since I walked those aisles—there was a divide between vendors selling their enterprises wares and service providers with their service offerings.

ITExpo is instead a mashup of companies from both sides of the wire.

Of course, the cloud has much to do with this blurring of the lines. Continue reading

A Holiday Gift Idea from Voxeo

I’ve been exploring less expensive Android gadgetry lately in my search for a capable but not overly glitzy e-book reader. My experience with Velocity Micro’s Cruz Reader, which I have previously documented, was not a positive one. I’ve now turned my attention to a Rockchip-powered Android tablet from Yixin, a Chinese electronics and toy manufacturer. I’m hoping to have one in my possession shortly.

The gadget gift giving season is upon us. And no doubt in the coming weeks many Android tablets will be wrapped up and adorned with ribbons and bows. But are there other creative ideas out there, possibly free, that could put a smile on a young child’s face?

I don’t normally turn to Voxeo in these matters, but I came across a neat suggestion in their blog for turning their Tropo multi-media development environment into a joy machine.Continue reading

Voxeo’s Phono: Instant Softphone Using Javascript

Yesterday at the jQuery Conference held in Boston, Voxeo announced its new plugin that “turns any web browser into a multi-channel communications platform.” Called Phono (rhymes with Tropo), this is a pure client-side solution that is simple enough to implement: just a few lines of HTML and you have a working softphone embedded in a browser page.

I repeat: this is a client-side solution that, unlike Tropo and Twilio, doesn’t involve any server-side complexities. Voxeo’s cloud does all the communications control!

I suspect at more than a few startups next week, the words “Phono” and “Voxeo” will be found scribbled on whiteboards.

There are other tantalizing things about the announcement. More on page two.Continue reading

Tropo Puts Unified Communications in the Cloud

About a year ago, VoiceXML pioneer Voxeo started a cloud-based unified communications service called Tropo.  It’s a tempting free development environment in which you craft unified communications apps in your favorite web programming language without having to wade too deeply into VoXML tags and voice grammars. The words “free”, “development environment”, and “VoiceXML” struck the right note with me.Continue reading