Friday, February 1, 2008

Ruby and VOIP

I've been doing a some work in the VOIP area recently, using Ruby and Open Source PBXes such as Asterisk and decided it would be fun to present at the Ruby User of Minnesota ( RUM ) meeting earlier this week. My topic was on Ruby and VOIP and it seemed to have been pretty well received. I have great respect for people who are comfortable and confident speakers. I still have a lot of work to do to get the jitters out, but I do enjoy taking the time to put together presentations and share what I have learned or created with other people in the technology world. Here is a link to my presentation - 32 slides of Ruby and Asterisk goodness!

I was able to show a few of the demos that I created, but I unfortunately ran out of time and didn't get a chance to show my "Who Wants To Be A Billionaire" Application. It's an application that allows you to be a contestant of a game show using your phone. You create and manage the questions using your web browser and when people call in, the system uses text to speech to speak you the questions. It keeps track of your point total and you can call back later and resume the questions if you wish. It's pretty cool and wasn't hard to do in Ruby using Adhearsion. Besides Adhearsion another cool framework for VOIP and Ruby is Telegraph. Telegraph provides some slick integration with Rails and allows you to integrate voice response directly into your controllers.

I'll be doing this same presentation for the Twin Cities Asterisk Users Group in a few weeks so I'll need to tweak the presentation slightly as most of the slides are currently explaining Asterisk. The guys at the Asterisk Users Group will need more of a background of Ruby as they work with and understand Asterisk. Wish me luck!

As I've written in a previous post, I see the interaction between voice and the internet being more and more blurry as time goes on (in many way with VOIP it already is pretty blurry), but where they come together I see an opportunity for new products, services and small business like myself to create some really cool stuff. And all the time, having fun while doing it!

For those that saw the demo and are curious how you might get a hosted Asterisk solution, here's some providers that I am working with who do great work. I'd be more than happy to put you in contact with the right people at either of these organizations.

OneNetUSA -
Arretta Communications -

If you have hardware and want to host it yourself, Trixbox is a fully bundled ISO that contains everything you need to be up and running in minutes. I highly recommend it if you need to get a PBX up and running quickly.

TrixBox -

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