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VoiceXML: An Easy Way to Make Your Site Accessible by Phone?

Henry Scheuer told us that we ought to be playing with Tellme and investigating its features. At first glance, Tellme appears to be a voice response interface to certain simple Internet content. However, we dug a little deeper and found Tellme.Studio, a means for building, testing, and publishing Tellme "Phone Sites".

As a result of Tellme.Studio and its underlying XML protocol, we think there is a good possibility that developers will build applications for Tellme, at least as a promotional technique. Read on for more details.

Visiting Tellme.Studio led us to discover the fact that Tellme is promoting VoiceXML as a standard for providing data to it, and presumably, to other future voice-Web interfaces. Since they already provide an example XSL transformation, it seems like no problem to build interfaces to documents based on other simple standards like RSS (an XML standard many Weblogs and news-oriented sites already use to syndicate their headlines).

The simplest way to get a Tellme application up and running is through the Tellme Extensions program. Examining this, we already found a Slashdot Headlines extension (number 75438) that works as advertised. So, someone may have already written an XSL template that transforms RSS into VoiceXML.

Web Developers ought to watch these technologies. There is no telling how they will develop, but, we guess that this will become a hot way to promote small community Web Sites in the near future.

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