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Developer Story: myaNUMBER for Simple, Secure Family Communications using Tropo and Phono

Posted on January 30, 2013 by Johnny Diggz

We’ve covered in other posts some of the developer stories from the AT&T Developer Summit.  myaNUMBER gave a presentation at the Summit of their Telecom API-enabled service, here is a cute video demonstration:

The idea for myaNUMBER came from the founders (John and Kyle) experience in raising 5 children, across their 2 families, aged between 3 and 8 in the modern extended family of children, parents, nannies, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and even great-grandparents and neighbors, with mobile and multiple fixed numbers for each. Their children had to remember tens of phone numbers, what they needed was one number, and that’s where myaNUMBER came from. As with all good ideas, from the founders’ real-world problems, and they set about solving it.

myaNUMBER makes it simple to keep a family in touch using calling, messaging and location. Whether its arranging dinner plans, or who picks who up after soccer practice and where to go next, picking up and arranging cover when one of the kids comes down sick during school, or seeing where is everyone before you call or text. There are virtual numbers and services that partially solve the problem, but none of them are easy. “Simplicity of the customer’s experience drove our decisions, this meant freemium was not an option as that introduced complexity with adverts, no apps it just works when the child makes one call, hence the we needed to use the Tropo from Voxeo Labs so it just works across all carriers” stated John, Chief Dad at myaNumber.

The service uses the Tropo API to provision phone numbers and provided the calling and SMS functions.  The Phono API extends those functions to the browser.  myaNUMBER uses other AT&T APIs such as the AT&T payment API, locator API, in-app messaging API and the speech to text API.

“We selected Tropo over the competition for two reasons: as a developer its documentation and support far exceeded the attempts of the competition; and our focus is simplicity, Tropo is integrated into the AT&T network, so it works with existing numbers” — Kyle, Ops Dad at myaNUMBER.

The cost of the AT&T APIs is done on a points system, using the speech to text API for a transcription under 60sec is 1 point. For $99 per year developers get 1 million points per month. This may seem generous, but once a service becomes successful, 1 million transactions is quickly consumed. And that’s the purpose of the model, low entry barrier to encourage developers to experiment. “AT&T has set the bar in the industry, unless Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile copy them, developers are unlikely to engage with them” declared John.

Looking to the future of myaNUMBER “Tropo is really the only platform upon I would trust on which to run my business. Phono is an amazing JavaScript library that cut down our development time for building out the web browser experience by over 80%, and is a central component upon which our future product roadmap is based. We are particularly excited about running our service on Voxeo Labs’ Ameche platform, we’ll be able to do so much more in making the experience easy and successful, such being able to easily add family members to an existing call and having an SMS to the group read into the call, the possibilities are very exciting” enthused John.

John and Kyle advised other developers, “Don’t follow technology fashion, follow what makes beautifully simple experiences for your customers that solves an unmet need for which the customer is prepared to pay. Specifically, don’t chase the app-economy, being in the network makes things simple and easy for the customer. Telecom APIs, and in particular Tropo and Phono from Voxeo Labs, have made our business possible, we highly recommend them.”

One Response

  1. […] Dad, and Kyle Schei, Ops Dad; and we had an opportunity chat about their experiences.  Voxeo Labs recently covered myaNUMBER on their weblog.  The myaNUMBER service will be publicly available […]

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