Vooices controls web apps with voice – and could verify celebs on Twitter

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Vooices is a new API project from Paul Rawlings and Paul Kinlan. Why is that interesting? Well, these guys made Twe2, the attempt to bring back SMS to Twitters in the UK, which subsequently fell foul of its SMS partner . No matter – they are on to better things. And these things are quite interesting.

Vooices allows anyone to develop games with voice interaction over a phone line. An example is the very simple game they developed called Wordz where you dial a phone number and read out the colour of the word. The game, via Flash, recognises if you are right or wrong and adds or subtracts points accordingly. It’s actually pretty fun.

So, Vooices is ultimately an Open API that existing game and content developers could hook into existing and new games. What can you build with Vooices? Apart from controlling something like a game, you could have multiplayer games. As they postulate, “imagine 100s of people dialling into a vooice game in London that is hosted on a screen in Kings Cross”. Yes, the mind boggles. With advertising, Vooices could give users control a game for a video advert such as “what’s your favourite flavour of crisps” and count votes. Vooices also knows the location of the speaker via the phone and could send an MMS voucher or an SMS message with a discount code. There are of course other ideas: Secure Login with voice prints; Paid Content; Voting Lines; you name it.

More intrigingly is the Maps application they have mocked up. This supports most Google Mapping commands and uses the latest version of the Vooices API. The effect of being able to tell the map to Zoom In or Zoom Out or “North”, is really very, very cool.

But perhaps the most interesting application for Vooices is their Voiceboo Verify site. This uses the Vooices API to authorise Twitter Accounts using a persons voice – and then gets the community to vote on whether its really them.

Here’s how it works:

1. You can verify a Twitter account via VooiceBoo by sending the Twitter user a VooiceBoo Verification Link to their twitter account.

2. When clicking the link, the user is presented with a verification page in which they have to log into using their Twitter Details, which uses the now secure oAuth.

3. Once logged in, the user is then presented with a phone number to dial (US or UK), a personal keycode to enter and a phrase to say after dialling the number.

4. The phrase that has been said on the call is then saved against the user’s account and the community then votes on VooiceBoo whether the phone recording sounds like the person in question, giving confidence to the profile.

5. Once a certain level of confidence is reached for the account, VooiceBoo then takes the account background from Twitter and adds a VooiceBoo Verify Seal Automatically to the background image and allows the user to push it back to Twitter.

So, in a stroke Vooices and voicebooverify could well save Twitter a lot of time and money verifying accounts of celebrities. Imagine everyone being able to vote on whether it really is Britney Spears on her account?

  • http://www.vooices.us Paul Kinlan

    As the other 1/2 of the team, I developed the Mapping application in about 5 minutes using the Javascript API.

    If anyone needs to see what the API looks like you can see it here: http://github.com/PaulKinlan/vooices.us/tree/master

    It is all javascript.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew_Velis/7101083 Andrew Velis

      The power of Javascript indeed.

  • http://www.echolibre.com Eamon Leonard

    Looks cool – gave the voice maps application a go.

    Slick, but I may need to work on my accent – it seemed to have problems with the Dubliner pronunciation of “South” and “Zoom” ;-)

    Looking forward to digging through their API.

  • http://rowshow.com Jonathan Dusing

    Vooices is a really awesome product. I can think of some many awesome things to do with my clients. Hope I get a dev account soon!

  • http://webstrong.ie Iarfhlaith Kelly

    I’m not so sure this would work for celebrity Twitter verification. What would they compare it against?

    Surely if Vooices have access to an online interview with the celebrities voice, then so too does the spammy account owner.

    All they have to do is play the clip up to the mic when recording their voice demo. Voilla! You’ve just been validated as having [insert celeb here]’s voice.

    I guess this is the issue with voice recognition as a whole, but with celebrity voice recordings freely available online, I think voice based validation is particularly unsuitable in this instance.

    • http://blog.gadodia.net Vaibhav

      Yeah, I was thinking of this as well. Except I was thinking that there are many people out there who can mimic voices of famous people to a perfection.

      • http://www.vooices.us Paul Kinlan

        We discussed this internally, and yes there are good voice impressionists, so we will be randomising the quote that the users has to say.

        It was initially a tech demo of how you can integrate vooices API. (Which this one is not using the Javascript API, but rather establishing a phone call against a twitter account). The timing is very good considering the authorised accounts that Twitter have just introduced.


    • http://www.vooices.us Paul Kinlan

      Just to clarify, there is no voice analysis done by vooices… It is done by everyone on twitter.

  • http://michaeldsmith.comxa.com/ Michael Dennis Smith

    Does anyone have an Invite Code for Vooices? I REALLY WANT ONE.

  • http://michaeldsmith.comxa.com/ Michael Dennis Smith

    This could be an awesome part of a project I’m working on, as well as so much else. I’m so excited about this technology. I REALLY want an Invite Code.

  • http://www.thenextweb.com Ralf

    Michael Dennis Smith: Drop me a note @24z . I’ll take care for your invite.

  • Frank

    Do we REALLY need to know if it’s them? I don’t think celebrities are going to cure cancer on the internet through their twitter account. They’re opinion is probably a little bit less than a normal person.

  • http://clair.ro/flow/2009/06/16/daily-digest-for-june-16th/ Flow » Blog Archive » Daily Digest for June 16th - The zeitgeist daily

    […] Vooices controls web apps with voice – and could verify celebs on Twitter — 8:22pm via Google […]

  • http://www.vooices.us Paul Kinlan

    Just to clarify the article.

    The Wordz game is done purely in Javascript… no flash required.

  • http://www.jeromakay.com/ Vladimir Ghetau

    I’m going to keep this in mind for future projects, very well done indeed :)

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