Today I hacked around on Voxeo’s VXML platform and managed to build a rudimentary local search voice application modeled on their screen scrape. It was surprisingly straightforward and initially used Google’s Web API for search. After finishing, I discovered Yahoo!’s API was much more complete, both in terms of what I wanted to do and in terms of future flexibility. In comparison, Google’s API seems pretty inadequate compared to Yahoo’s. Maybe it’s a function of poor documentation, but it sure didn’t seem that way based on searches of example code.
Yahoo’s returned results give much more information and flexibility. I’m able to pull out location aware information, set searches within a specified radius, etc… Much better.
The rudimentary app now allows for an exclusively voice-based interface and should be useful for the next generation of WiFi phones with limited screen real-estate. Plus, the nice amount of information will probably reduce our overall database table count and provide much more involved apps accessible through the AJAX front-end.
We’re finishing up the chat applications as well so things are coming together nicely. Video is next, but should be pretty straightforward as long as the mesh supports the bandwidth requirements, which we’ve benchmarked it to be adequate.