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November 26, 2005

Speech Enabled Crank Phone


I’ve been meaning to write this story for a couple of months. Mostly because I’m so grateful to Ben Watson for restoring my phone. This phone was an antique when my parents had it. It hung on the wall in our kitchen for as long as I remember when I was growing up. I mentioned to Ben’s daughter Angela, who works at Gold Systems, that I had the phone and was thinking about hanging it in my office. Angela also grew up with these phones as her dad restores them. She “volunteered” him to make my phone work again and he graciously agreed to give it life again.

A week later it was back and hanging on my wall. I think it might be the one and only speech-recognition-enabled crank style phone in the world. We hooked it up to our PBX so that when you pick up the receiver, the phone automatically connects to our V-Dialer product. You can then say the name of anyone at Gold Systems and be connected to them without annoying touch-tone menus. We haven’t programmed V-Dialer to understand “Hello Central” or “Mr. Watson--come here--I want to see you.”, but we could.

This week I was playing with the phone to see how many technologies I could span with it. This phone doesn’t represent the very first phone, but it goes back almost to the beginning of telephony history. Now it is connected to a modern PBX and speech recognition. If I pick up the receiver and say “Herb Morreale”, the call is routed to Herb’s desk phone where it forwards via VoIP to his Skype phone running on his laptop. If I pick up and say “Terry Gold on his mobile phone”, V-Dialer routes the call to my cell phone. If I don’t answer, the call then forwards to my laptop via Vonage and then from there to a network voice mail server via VoIP. A few seconds later, the voice mail shows up in my Outlook email inbox on my laptop. If I knew someone with a satellite phone, I think we could touch all of the existing telephone technologies with this great old wooden wall phone.

All of this is possible because Ben gets a kick out of making old things new again. (You should see his T-Bird and Model-T hot rod!) Thanks Ben. I’m really enjoying my “new” telephone!

November 26, 2005 | Permalink


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Hello Terry,


Its always fun and Motivating to play with old systems...

Have a Look at...(Or you might be knowing)


Raxit Sheth

Posted by: Raxit | Nov 29, 2005 9:50:09 PM