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This week I was reading a newsletter sent around by Kirusa, who are business partners with Dialogic. The newsletter talks about Voice SMS, which is a service that Kirusa are enabling for some telcos now. It's worth explaining what this service is, as it builds on regular SMS to create a whole new service, including video technology from Dialogic.
The basic idea is that instead of making a voice call, you make a video call (to their recipient's number but with an extra '*' at the start). The service intercepts the call and connects you to a video server that allows you to record a video message using the camera on your 3G handset. Once you're happy with the message, you hang-up, and the service sends an SMS to the recipient, giving a special link number for them to call. When they call that link (another video call), they can view the video message that has been left. So it's a kind of store-and-forward video-mail application, linked into SMS for ease-of-use.
There are a number of ways that you could implement this service with Dialogic products, but in fact the route Kirusa chose is to use the Vision gateway, which provides the 3G video magic, transforming the video stream into IP/RTP so that next-gen media server platforms can manipulate the audio and video.
SMS has proved to be a great money-spinner for the telcos; a simple idea, but able to be used as a building block to provide messaging (very importantly with billing attached) in all kinds of different service models.