Call into your Ruby code! Writing voice-enabled apps in Ruby with Adhearsion

Location: Ballroom A Level:
Average rating: ***..
(3.71, 17 ratings)

Adhearsion is an open-source telephony development framework with which Rails developers can easily integrate phone-related features into their web applications.

In the past when I’ve given talks on Adhearsion, people seem to be very interested in voice development but face the difficult talk of getting Adhearsion’s dependencies (mainly Asterisk, a software phone, and Voice over IP service operator configurations) installed and running. To solve this issue, I created a public sandbox that lets Adhearsion users share a single Asterisk server and a special Adhearsion plugin will tunnel only the call instructions through any firewalls they may be behind. Because the telephony parts of the application run on our servers (and not the conference network), the tutorial participants can call in with their cell phone and we’ll pass only the control of the call down to the Adhearsion application running on their laptop.

Though I’ll be working up toward the goal of building a complex voice-enabled Rails application, I will encourage people to deviate from my instructions and experiment. I think once people get their first call working (within the first few minutes of the tutorial) they will want to run through the API docs of Adhearsion and experiment. Because the code will run on their laptops, they can download any gems they may want to try or even start voice-enabling a Rails website they’ve already written. If someone builds something neat, they can tell a neighbor to call in and enter their PIN number. The end result I think will be an interesting amount of buzz about things people created during or after my talk while at Rails Conf. :)

If RailsConf attendees in general purchase tickets to find out about new technologies, I think many will see the value in learning how to leverage something they may have never considered within their grasp: the relatively new world of Ruby telephony development. :)

Photo of Jay Phillips

Jay Phillips

Codemecca LLC

Jay Phillips is an innovator in the spaces where sophisticated VoIP development falls apart and where Ruby rocks. As the creator of Adhearsion and its parent consulting company, Jay brings new possibilities to these two technologies through his work on the open-source Adhearsion framework.

Comments on this page are now closed.


Jason LaPorte
05/07/2009 9:56am PDT

I wasn’t able to follow the talk—I felt as if the speaker assumed his audience was already familiar with his technology. Live demos seldom work. That said, I think the technology is very interesting, and will probably find myself toying with it in the near future.

Picture of Troy Davis
Troy Davis
05/06/2009 8:48am PDT

Yeah, calling your code is an “aha” experience when it works. We’ve got some sample apps up at if they’re useful for others.

John Lawrence
05/06/2009 8:43am PDT

Loved the idea, will look into the technology more in the future. Bummer the demo stopped working.

Mark Yoon
05/06/2009 8:31am PDT

It is often hard to introduce your domain to outsiders – there was too much lingo, not enough context for me.

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