Thursday, September 22, 2005

VOIP Hyperlinks?

Yesterday I posted a story about Verisign and Net2Phone teaming up for VOIP services. Pondering over this story, I think I see a Pondering Primate Possiblity.

Everything on the Internet is becoming direct-connectable or hyperlinked. Click on a hyperlink and your browser resolves the web site. Click on the “email me” hyperlink and your email program launches.

So why cant phone numbers have their own hyperlink, so that when you click on them your VOIP application launches?

Create a universal icon for a VOIP call hyperlink.

I know Skype has their own icon/hyperlink but what about the other hundreds of millions phone numbers out there?

Is there a way a phone number can be hyperlinkable? Can I make my phone number hyperlinkable so that anyone that clicks on it can call make a VOIP call?

Here’s my thinking. What if a Verisign or Google introduced a service that allowed you to display your VOIP icon with your ad. Not only will your ad appear, but there’s a hyperlink you can click on and initiate a VOIP call. Leverage every ad with the ability for a direct connect call?

Can Google create another revenue stream for calls that are connected with this feature? Call it Pay-Per-Call.

The next thing I see is this “icon” or code being placed on magazine ads, for sale signs or any print media. Maybe you can offer a direct link to the website with one “code” and another “code” for phone call.

A question for all techies out there. Can this be done?

Is a phone number like a website in that it needs to have a URL? Could Verisign offer this?
Will Verisign register phone numbers for VOIP hyperlink ability?

Is there a program that would allow all phone numbers that are on websites to be turned into a hyperlink?

Comments thoughts? Am I way off base?


Dean said...

no reason why it can't be done today!
People just need to come up with a standard way of reffereing to a phone-call and put that in a standard html link, eg.
Call Me
Browsers need to be able to recognize the keyword 'voip' and launch the associated application, same way they recognize 'mailto' and lauch the email client. Similar thing can be done with IM, sms etc.

Mobile phones already have similar features standardised in the WTAI specs and built into their browsers, so that by clicking on a link, you can initiate a phone call, start typing a message, add entry to address book, etc.

Scott Shaffer said...

Here's my thinking.
A phone number is a machine readable identifier and it's universal.

The number 01-212-555-1212 for example has ONE OWNER and means the same thing to EVERYONE in the world.

Very similar to an RFID tag or a barcode.

When you click on the VOIP hyperlink, it has to get resolved.
Will a phone number need a URL for connection?
Will Verisign be the ONS for phone numbers?

Am I way off base?

Anonymous said...

They're called "SIP urls". There is "sip:" (unencrypted VOIP), and "sips:" (an SSL-secure encyrypted phone session...).

Right now browsers have a capability for setting up an association for a file. To get Explorer, Firefox, Opera, and others to honor these "protocols" (i.e., to launch the VOIP software of your choice -Skype, SIP Communicator, OpenWengo, Pulver, etc.) requires some under the hood mods that a competent programmer can do (actually, Opera lets you create a protocol of your choosing in its settings and browse to a program for it to launch); for example, have a look at; "callto" links supported by this software are Microsoft old-school; sip URLs are where it's at now.

Ideally, when you install your SIP client, it should see what popular browser or browsers you are using, and OFFER to make the sip url association for you. Sort of like when you install WinAmp or iTunes, it asks if it should be the app of preference for MPG files.

We're about to embark on an exciting time in eCommerce. Just like Email links were a natural for following up on a listing, making a call if you're interested in something will be a reality shortly. One of the nice things about these links is they can be handled by a SIP server, and you can revoke the ability to call about something when it is no longer relevant (sort of like using a throw-away Email handle when you have a listing...) SIP servers right now are a bit unwieldy for an amateur to configure and manager, but give it time and it will be a de rigeur component of software products.

Also see:

Anonymous said...

P.S. People who use Skype would say you could do this all along with Skype.


Poor security (because of poor code quality because it was rushed to market to get marketshare in the VOIP client software market).

Ads; too many.

With OpenWengo and SIP communicator, we are beginning to see more secure and less idealogical VOIP clients coming out...

Scott Shaffer said...

Thanks for THAT info..

It's nice to see such information comments/input from readers.

Anonymous said...

voip software

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