A new and novel alternative to SMS (mobile text messaging) is now available from New Zealand-based ISP Ihug. The company's new T2V or 'Text to Voice' Internet tool takes the text message concept one step further, converting your text messages into voice messages and send them to any fixed phone or mobile phone anywhere on the planet!
It works like this - you type in your message at www.T2V.net, choose from one of the seven different voice types (including suave Kevin, sexy Emily, the Whisperer, and even Boris the dog!) and then enter the person's phone number you want to send it to. It costs approx 17 cents to call a home phone and 43 cents to a mobile anywhere in the world. That makes it cheaper to send a t2v message to a home phone than to make a local call, with the only major disadvantage being that the voices are far from perfect and don't necessarily deliver the message in a coherent fashion, particularly Boris the dog, who just barks.
One area which is sure to prove contentious is that the service is entirely anonymous - the person you're sending the message to has no idea who sent it unless you tell them - one can clearly see the potential of the service to be used in a negative way. It is also possible to schedule phone calls for any time of the day or night - great for wake up calls, but potentially not so great if you don't wish to be woken up.
Clearly, the service offers great potential for having a bit of fun, delivering a quick message across the globe or around the corner at a low cost or automated service provision such as automating commentary and scores of a sports game.