h a l f b a k e r y
The word "How?" springs to mind at this point.
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A friend of mine is expecting a baby, and we'd love to know when she is entering the hospital (and it has NOTHING to do with that office pool we set up).
Obviously we can't expect the father to sit down, log in, and fire off a mass e-mail when his wife is in labor. And not everyone has a palm VII.
But if there was an 800 number that would let you fire off a prewritten mail to a given address list just by entering in your PIN, could that be useful? It's just too much cost and labor to either have voice-to-text e-mail yet, or staff it with humans.
Possible common messages:
"She's in Labor! / It's a Boy|Girl!"
"I made it here in one piece"
"Come get me at the airport"
"My e-mail is down, call me instead"
Free online Email. Allows you to receive phone messages via e-mail. [blahginger, Oct 13 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]
Tellme lets you publish VoiceXML (like HTML, but for telephone interfaces) for free and access it via a toll-free number from anywhere in the US. A little server-side scripting and you're all set... [egnor, Oct 13 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]
"automated calling system"
For those of you allergic to running your own searches. These systems are used by schools (for announcing snow days, reporting absentees, etc), but also by telemarketers. You'll find a lot of mushy legislation professing to curtail their use for telemarketing in certain ways. [egnor, Oct 13 2000, last modified Oct 04 2004]
||There are lots of call answering services around the world that take calls. Perhaps if you approached one with a list of people, numbers etc that you want them to call with the message you give them. Then when it happens, simply one call and they do the rest. It's sort of the reverse of what they normally do, but you never know.