Fun with Asterisk at the Etel Faire

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Last night we had a number of Asterisk-based projects on display from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. All of the projects solve a real need or desire – whether or not they are practical in their current form is another question.

Botanicalls – Did you water your plant? If the answer is no you may be getting a phone call. Botanicalls enables plants to call you if they need water, to thank you once you have watered them, and to admonish you if you overdue it. It also lets them report their water status if you call them all via their Asterisk backend. There are currently ten plants online call them to see how diligent their owners have been of late. Call 212.202.8348. I would love to have my plants communicate with me, but I would prefer an email, SMS or RSS feed personally.

MegaPhone 3000 – Two phone calls enter; one phone call leaves. Each of the players call a number, they compete in one of ten very short (5 seconds) games. The winner stays on the line and takes on the next caller. Games involve hitting the keypad first, being loudest, and speaking first. Call 212.660.0308. As the creators mentioned this would be great in a movie theatre.

The Human Race – Do you have too many people calling you who aren’t interesting or compatible with you? The Human Race project might be one for you to look at. Callers are placed on hold and given a wait time. While they are waiting they are fed questions, their answers can shorten or lengthen their wait time. If you want to talk to its inventor call (212) 796-0729 x11, maybe you’ll get through.

BanglaBollo – Learning Bengali? If so this language learning platform might be for you. You can listen to how the word sounds and leave messages for a tutor to grade. Call 212-796-0729 ext 13.

SurpriseDialer – SurpriseDialer lets a large group of people coordinate a group message for a single person. One person calls SurpiseDialer, sets a time to call a certain phone number, and leaves instructions for what type of message to leave (“Happy Birthday”, “Congratulations”). The final step is to get other people to record a message. At the specified date and time all of the messages are delivered. Call 212.796.0729 ext 24. I can really see myself using this.

Note: All of the designers are graduating in May and are looking for a new Asterisk host. Good way to get some publicity for your up and coming Asterisk hosting business.