Tom Howe has been writing about his vision for voice centric applications. He calls it Ernie:
Why Ernie? Well, I like Ernie. He’s a rebel, he’s an anarchist, and he’s just slightly smarter than Burt. There’s a personal connection here too, and I just want to emphasize that I look nothing like Ernie. Well, not too much.
Ernie is an open source project to create an open applications environment. It’s going to be built from Web 2.0 APIs with the explicit goal of enabling mash-ups between voice and the web. As Tom says:
The open source project is called the "Open Applications Project", or as I’m going to call it, Ernie. Ernie is a software application and library that developers can use to create communications centric services. It will integrate presence, voice and web services features together, and present them to the applications developer in a web scripting API. The API will be appropriate to create typical voice applications such as voice mail, auto attendants or call centers, as well as next generation applications like presence based routing or voice-bots.
You can read more about it on these three blog postings:
If you don’t know Tom, he was the founder of Tangerine Inc, and built the Tangerine softswitch — he’s one of the SIP pioneers. Tangerine Inc was bought some time back by Versatel Networks. This is his next project.