Redial Midterm Ideas

I’m not sure what to do for my Redial midterm at all.  We’re supposed to demonstrate our understanding of concepts we’ve learned in class, such as creating dialplans, routing within a dialplan, recording audio and playing it back, and interfacing with Ruby, PHP, the shell, and AJAX.

I think what interests me the most is doing some server-side scripting in the background to make the dial-in appear to be intelligent and interactive.  Mostly I am hung up technically and conceptually on not knowing how to do on-the-fly text-to-speech synthesis, to streamline creating an interactive dialplan.  I find not being able to have this functionality limits the extent to which I experiment with Asterisk, more than anything else.

So far I’ve just made some quick example dialplans, though I incorporated it into a puzzle I made, as well as added an extension that gives you Jeremy Lin’s points and assists in-game by scraping ESPN’s web site and returning the numbers.

My favorite telephony-related project so far is Big Screams, created by an ITP alumn, Elie Zananiri:

People call in to Big Screams and their phone number generates a unique creature who shows up on a big row of screens.  The caller then has to scream into his phone, and the loudness repels other creatures on-screen.  If someone pushes you off the screen, you get hung up and you can dial back in — since the creature is unique to your appearance, you look the same the next time you dial in, too.

Here are the ideas I’ve come up with so far.  I’m not usually this clueless when coming up with project ideas, but I’m just stumped on how I can take advantage of what a phone is good at and how I can build it within Asterisk/scripting.

  • Android app that lets you quickly and discreetly press a panic button so that it dials you in 5 minutes or whatever, so you can get out of an awkward situation.  “OH, LOOK, I HAVE A PHONECALL!  GOTTA GO!”
  • Something like Big Screams, where someone dials in, answers a series of questions, presses 0 through 9 (such as, rate yourself creativity-wise, 0-9), and then creates a character based on those entered variables, via Processing.  This might be more of a final project, in conjunction with my Nature of Code class.
  • Simon. Like the old toy that lit up in certain patterns that you had to repeat.  This could be done with tones and a dialpad.
  • Rock, paper, scissors, multi-player, having two players call in and the results displayed on a monitor.
  • System that, when you dial in, calls a random person in its database to link you two up.  It’s opt-in, and would be like a phone version of chatroulette.  Minus the penises.
  • Multi-User Domain (MUD) where you use the dialpad to move and use things.  So you can press 1 to move northwest.  5 to attack or use, # to block, * to exit.  Or whatever.  This one is pretty text-to-speech heavy, which discourages me.  Maybe it could move a character on a large monitor.  There could be an epic melee with multiple users?


That’s all I’ve got so far. :/