Product: Phone
Scriptable Phone   (+4, -2)  [vote for, against]
Simple phone scripting.(Formerly Barcode Phone)

Ever needed to get in touch with someone who works at another company with an awkward phone system? "Press 3 at the first voice prompt, then press 2, dial my extension, then do the hokey-pokey and turn yourself around..."*ahem* Anyway, if you had a Barcode phone, the party to be contacted would give you their business card. On the back, it would have a barcode containing simple scripting instructions for the phone, like:

Dial 800-555-5555, Wait 10 seconds, dial 3, wait 2 seconds, then 2, then 6474.

You would simply pick up the reciever, slide the card through the phone's barcode reader, then let the phone do all the work! Could also be used for awkward voicemail systems.
-- BinaryCookies, Aug 22 2002

Mitigo CodePoint
(PDF file!) Or just point the phone at the card and read the barcode with the integrated digital camera. [bristolz, Aug 22 2002]

The :Cue:Cat is coming! http://www.saintroc...articles/000042.htm
Optimism about a bar code reading cat ... [Aristotle, Aug 23 2002]

Wasting Money on Cats http://www.joelonso.../fog0000000037.html
Excerpt: "The number of dumb things going on here exceeds my limited ability to grok all at once. I'm a bit overwhelmed with what a feeble business idea this is." [bristolz, Aug 26 2002]

[bristolz], that's not phone scripting. The major part of the idea is "programming" your phone. The barcode is just a convienient method for inputting the data.
-- BinaryCookies, Aug 22 2002

So, do you want me to add the words "This is not phone scripting" to my link description?
-- bristolz, Aug 23 2002

No, it's a valid link, but not a yell of baked. My idea had more to it than the barcode reader.
-- BinaryCookies, Aug 23 2002

Do you want me to add "not an indicator of this being baked" to my link description?

I added the link merely to point out an interesting camera-based barcode scanning solution for phones.  I thought it appropos for the subject at hand.
-- bristolz, Aug 23 2002

Okay, okay, okay, sorry...
-- BinaryCookies, Aug 23 2002

The idea of integrating a barcode reader into your phone is really independent from the idea "make phone calls more scriptable."

(I don't care much for the barcode reader, although it seems like a neat gimmick if you already have a camera anyway.)

People who dial out with computers are used to spelling a pause using a comma; a first step would be to have that key on a phone (right next to backspace, probably...), and allow its use in e.g. address book entries.

Further towards scripting, I'd like a macro-programmable phone that "listens" to a call, or maybe two calls in sequence, and "learns" the voice prompts and user inputs up to a certain point. ("Just after the phone says X, the user said Y.") This is doable just by matching up audio, without speech analysis.
-- jutta, Aug 23 2002

Yes, completely independent, but since "barcode" was mentioned . . .
-- bristolz, Aug 23 2002

The idea of printing someone's details in barcode form on the back of a standard buisness card has a lot of good things about it. Easy to log into your PDA with a cheap, simple barcode wand. Magnetic stripes or [UnaBubba]'s idea of an embedded chip are also wirth thinking about. Croissant for the original idea.
-- 8th of 7, Aug 23 2002

However the problem with an idea associated with a reader and a type of machine readable media is that the idea won't take off unless both are pretty cheap and common. There was an attempt to launch a barcode reading :Cue:Cat peripheral that allowed you to jump to the encoded web page on printed adverts but the company went bust, even though they gave away lots of cats. [see link]
-- Aristotle, Aug 23 2002

How the CueCat ever got funding is completely and utterly baffling to me. _This_ idea makes it easier to talk to people that you might want to date, buy from, or hire, using a device that you're already carrying. The CueCat let you use special hardware and a separate Internet connection to look at advertisements for products that you already either own or are looking at in another advertisement, while you're nowhere near their point of sale. I want a day job that involves opening a trap door to the alligator pen below people who pitch stuff like that.
-- jutta, Aug 26 2002

Jutta is far from alone in her derisive view on Cue Cat and similar schemes. Want to read a funny, and spot-on, criticism of Cue Cat? (link)
-- bristolz, Aug 26 2002

I made a couple of bucks from the Cue Cat giveaway. I found and reported some kind of bug or flaw or submitted a site (don't remember now) and they gave me a Radio Shack gift certificiate. Other than that, the most interesting thing about it was reading about the law suits against those who "broke" it's weak encoding scheme and published software to allow use of CueCat with non-approved software.

More on topic, 2D barcodes on the back of a business card would hold a fair amount of information. But I don't know if a cheapie camera on the phone would have the proper resolution/focus to allow decoding.
-- half, Aug 26 2002

The Mitigo is designed for 2D codes.
-- bristolz, Aug 26 2002

So I So there's the standardized input method for the suggested phone scripting.
-- half, Aug 26 2002

This is how the video phones worked in "Aliens." And, I'm sure, countless other sci-fi features too. Still a good idea.
-- waugsqueke, Aug 26 2002

I love my electronically modified CueCat! I went to a website, identified my CueCat's board revision, and jumpered two contacts, and now it functions as a regular, "keyboard wedge" barcode scanner.

And this cat isn't as evil as my others.
-- BinaryCookies, Aug 29 2002

If only CueCat was a pool-playing feline. Then CueCat would be cool.
-- Jinbish, Aug 29 2002

That pun snookered me!
-- Aristotle, Aug 29 2002

Anything that cuts out all that tedious button pushing is a good idea as far as I'm concerned though waugsqueke is right about this idea's appearance in 'Aliens'.
-- DrBob, Aug 29 2002

random, halfbakery