Ribbit's Amphibian consumer telephony app is just the tip of the iceberg

Ribbit's Amphibian consumer telephony app is just the tip of the iceberg

Summary: I love companies that are challenging the establishment telephone companies. And Ribbit is one of those companies.

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I love companies that are challenging the establishment telephone companies. And Ribbit is one of those companies. It has completely rethought telephony within the context of our modern world.

Ribbit offers a telephony platform that enables developers to craft innovative telephony solutions within current applications, and also create completely novel applications. A good demonstration of what can be done with this platform is Ribbit's Amphibian service, which was sneak-peaked this week at the Demo conference.

Through a web browser, Amphibian (name chosen to show it lives in two environments) provides users with services such as visual voicemail, you see a picture of the person, plus you can choose to view a transcript of the voicemail. The transcript can be emailed to you along with the MP3 sound file. Or it can be viewed through SMS.

When a call comes in, Ribbit goes out to the Internet and brings back information about the person calling, such as blog posts, videos, photos.

If you don't answer your mobile phone, the caller is routed to Ribbit which will record a voicemail or route it to another phone, or allow the user to take the call from the web browser on a "virtual phone."

You can also call out through the Ribbit virtual phone and it will carry your mobile phone caller ID, which is very useful since many people won't pick up ID-blocked calls or numbers that are unfamiliar.

Very nice app. But the impressive thing is that Ribbit also offers developers an e-commerce system that lets them charge users for their applications. Developers need only focus on creating great apps, Ribbit provides them with the e-commerce infrastructure. Brilliant.

But why stop there? It wouldn't take much to extend that e-commerce platform to enabling the sale of other services and products enabled by the telephony apps. Ribbit could easily create a type of Ribbit PayPal that extends beyond collecting telephony revenues...

Topics: Mobility, Networking, Telcos, Unified Comms

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2 comments
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  • Phone Mashups will include both Telco and IVR

    I completely agree with your excitement about the availability of telephone services
    that extend the web experience. At Ifbyphone we believe the minimum support
    required to build interesting and world changing phone mashups requires a family
    of APIs that include:

    <pre>
    * Call management support for initiation, call bridging, call recording
    * Call routing support for ANI routing, schedule based routing, context routing
    * Support for calls originated from both an API and a traditional PSTN device
    * Full support for web interaction with Voice Forms (IVR)
    * Call scheduling API with retry logic
    * Answering machine detection
    * Pre build building blocks for standard PBX features such as voice mail, find me
    and voice broadcast
    * Call billing
    </pre>

    Our approach to this problem is to provide developers with a family of APIs that
    allow then to treat voice dialogs on any telephone as standard HTML forms. They
    code their web application in the same way they would code any application that
    uses a HTML form to collect information, processes that form and then displays
    another form. Instead of including a form tag in their application they include an
    Ifbphone API call which will collect the information via a voice form. These voice
    forms are configured from the Ifbyphone web site and include over 15 different
    field types with support for automated speech recognition, text to speech and
    DTMF input.

    Our HTML forms replacement approach may not be as elegant, from a computer
    science perspective, as some alternatives, however to opens the world of Phone
    Mashups to the maximum number of developers.

    Irv Shapiro
    CEO
    www.ifbyphone.com
    www.phonemashup.com
    ishapiro@...
  • RE: Ribbit's Amphibian consumer telephony app is just the tip of the iceber

    Or I could just pick up my phone and make a call and listen to my voice-mail.

    Why do I need another system or application to get in the way? I rally believe they are a solution looking for a problem.
    aep528