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OrganIP Turns Social Networks Into Phone Books

One of the more elusive dreams of emerging VoIP services is integration with social networks. The idea is compelling: if tens or hundreds of millions of people make calls to their social network "friends," someone will be able make a lot of money from it. So far, though, no one has had much success in appealing to such users. A startup that presented at the recent DEMO conference is trying to change that. OrganIP, run by France-based Digitrad, is trying to turn social networks into giant phone books.

OrganIP requires users only to know the name of the person they're trying to call. Once they type it into the OrganIP Web interface, the service will look the person up in Facebook and other places. If the person is logged into Facebook at the time, it will pop up a screen. Clicking will let recipients accept the calls via headsets or computer speakers and microphones, or send it to voice mail. They can also choose to have voice mail messages transcribed and sent to them as text. OrganIP uses Flash technology, which is built into almost every browser in the world, to deliver the audio streams. Calls can also reach recipients on landline or mobile phones through PSTN gateways.

Users can initiate OrganIP calls in one of two ways. The first is by accessing the service's Website through their own browsers. The second is through mobile client software running on smart phones. The software is currently available for Android, with BlackBerry, iPhone, PalmPre, Symbian and Windows Mobile versions to come. If the user is connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi, OrganIP provides a SIP URI for them to access. Otherwise, it gives them a temporary local phone number to ring to make the connection.

Besides Facebook, OrganIP currently looks up names in Google contacts, as well as via the open .tel directory system. Unsurprisingly, OrganIP parent Digitrad is in the business of issuing .tel addresses. The service will soon search LinkedIn, Plaxo and MSN as well. The goal is to provide instant access to over 700 million social network users. If it succeeds in reaching only a fraction of those, it will be well on the way to replacing phone numbers with names.

The service will become available in open beta on October 19.


And do not forget to register on http://organip.com to be invited to the first trial. One Name. One Click. Once Call.
And if you missed us on stage, you can watch it here : http://www.demo.com/alumni/demo2009fall/186085.html


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