updated 11:40 am EST, Mon December 17, 2007
Ribbit today released what it says should be the first service to integrate voice on the web with phones. A self-titled platform, Ribbit's technology is based entirely on an Adobe Flash interface that acts as a software telephone switch between both Internet-based and real-world phone systems: an embedded website widget talks both to real cellular and landlines but also to normally incompatible services like Skype and Windows Live. Voice communication effectively becomes transparent and easy for developers to integrate without much work of their own, the Mountain View, California-based company says.
The feature works in both directions and allows a caller to reach a website and even access in-depth features previously inaccessible on these phone services, such as converting voicemail from a phone service to e-mail or keep track of contacts on a page instead of through a stand-alone program.
Ribbit hopes to make the service available both to businesses and home users; the latter will initially find itself either through a web widget that can easily be built into a page or an iPhone-like program based on Adobe's AIR platform, which brings web code to a desktop program. Signing up is free, though the company has not said how it will manage calling real-world phone systems. [via Mercury News]