Browser-Based VoIP

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
Rich Tehrani
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Browser-Based VoIP

There is a race going on in the VoIP development community to allow IP communications functionality via a web browser. No longer is it chic to download software it seems. Many companies have policies against downloading unapproved software and consumers are fed up with having to deal with the clutter caused by dozens of programs and utilities piling up on their computers.

Browser-based communications will soon be commonplace and there are new developments in this area constantly being announced. One of the most recent is one from Florida-based VoiceOne a subsidiary of VoIP Inc. The company announced today the beta release of their web-click service
Click4Me.Net.

VoIP, Inc.'s CTO Shawn Lewis said, "Cick4Me is designed to meet the needs of active, on-the-go businesspeople. It integrates the World Wide Web, VoIP calling, mobile telephony and landline functionality all within one product. It even enables users to connect with others without giving out their phone number."

Users aren’t required to used IM or any software at all – they just go to the web address and connect with whomever they like.

Registered Click4Me users maintain their settings online and can set their availability status to Away, Do Not Disturb and Available. Registered users can also change the unpublished number at which they wish to be reached. Additional features allow users to apply custom filters for blocking specific callers or require special PINs to complete calls.

VoiceOne plans to add additional Click4Me.Net features over the coming weeks, including voicemail, text message notifications, and text message dialing.

At this point I am unsure how successful this service can be but it does some new things and some old things well. I am personally not a fan of downloading software as my computers tend to resemble software junkyards after a few months. I have downloaded utilities to disable accidental Caps Lock key pressing and a number of utilities. I am happy to see the future of VoIP eliminating the need for software.

As AJAX VoIP applications become more prevalent it may be impossible to distinguish a browser-based VoIP call from one that is made using software.

Next week, TMC will be hosting it’s
VoIP Developer Conference in Santa Clara and I expect to spend a good deal of time asking developers their thoughts on browser based IP communications.

Update:

Shawn Lewis is acknowledged by many as one of the brightest minds in VoIP. In response to the above blog post he sent me an e-mail worth forwarding:

---

Rich

Saw your write up on the click4me today, thanks. I saw you had a question as the success of this type of product. Once fully developed out over the coming weeks, i think you will see where the true applications will be. As services like this are less than toll free to business, information lines, conference lines. The fact you can embed a quick call link in email, web pages, word documents, pdf's allows for exciting marketing where people reading can then just click to be connected, etc.

This is something new we're playing with, and really to get it out their in peoples hands will help drive adoption in the eMarket place.

Next weeks some SMS features will be added, that will really help, when you add yoru cell phone to your user profile, it becomes a "known phone". So you will be able to send SMS message to our shortcode, say "411", and a DA operator calls you rigth back (instead of paying $1.75 to Verizon per 411 call), or you can send "CALL smlcaerus" which is a click4me userid for me, and i will be connected to you. You can also place the http link in the homepage address of many contact lists within cell phones, and clicking on it brings up the connect me to page.

So some exciting things coming along soon with this, and hope you stay watching it as it grows. This is 1 of 16 new projects being released over the next 8 weeks, so a lot of work ahead of us.

Let me know if you have any questions as well.


Shawn

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This is really cool stuff and shows the power of VoIP being integrated into the fabric of technology allowing us to do new and exciting things with telecom.


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