Not too long ago building telephony apps, such as interactive voice response systems, was far out of reach for most web developers. Now, an exciting crop of new startups is rapidly changing that, making it easy to incorporate voice capabilities into any web app, or even build standalone voice apps.
The model is simple: sign up for a number with Twilio. When a call comes in, Twilio makes an HTTP request to URL of your choice, containing information about the phone call. The processing logic resides entirely inside your web app, and instructions are passed back and forth using XML.
To help kick off this new era of voice-enabled applications, Heroku is co-sponsoring this week’s edition of Twilio’s Developer Contest. The rules are simple – develop a Twilio app in Ruby, deploy it to Heroku and submit your entry by midnight on July 13th. The lucky winner gets a netbook and $300 in Heroku platform credit to spend on dynos, database, or add-ons. This page has all the info you need, including links to example code on Github and a screencast showing how it works. We look forward to seeing the entries!