So, last night I found out about this cool service called Twilio It’s a service that makes it easy to connect programs and phones. They provide a pretty nice interface that lets easily you do anything from writing a program that calls people’s phones to play them mp3s to doing speech recognition and processing. And they’re giving some free airtime to developers who sign up with the service.
I thought it would be cool to make a system that lets me blog from my cell phone. And so I started stitching it together. Seven hours later, the sun was up, and I had worked out a system where I call a special phone number and I get a prompt. I speak into the phone, just like I’m leaving a message, and the system records my speech as a sound file and then processes it to turn the speech into text. It then puts together a post to my blog with a link to the sound file and the transcription below. It’s not a substitute for carefully written essays, but if you want to record and share a quick (I limit it to 2 1/2 minutes) thought with the world, it’s a pretty easy way to go about it.
Right now the code is limited to one user (me) and it’s not very secure, but I could imagine setting up a service where people create a profile with the details of their blog and a cell phone they want to voice-blog from. With the help of Twilio, I could make a nice, seamless interface for this kind of idea-publishing.
I think I’ll save that for my next night of coding. For now, if you’d like to set this up for yourself, the code is open source and is downloadable here, or from the github repository. All you need to set it up is a server with php and a free account of Twilio. There’s a readme file in there that walks you through the installation.