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What is Tellme®?

By Derek Schauland
Updated May 16, 2024
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The use of Internet and telephone technology has become something that many people rely on every day. Using these services can take many forms, calling directory assistance for a phone number, using Google to locate the restaurants in a neighborhood, and even using the yellow pages to find information about a particular business. Advancements in technology and increased use of mobile phones have produced several technologies, one of them Tellme®, which allows users to call or send a Short Message Service (SMS) message to retrieve business information or telephone numbers. Calling Tellme® is a great way to find a pizzeria on the way to movie night with friends.

Tellme® uses voice xml to allow voice input from a caller. When a user calls the Tellme® 800 number, they are presented with a list of categories of information they can access through the Tellme® service. When the caller looks for information, the Tellme® service reads the found information back to the caller. If the request is passed via SMS, a text message is returned to the phone number that initiated the request.

Categories for things like weather, stock quotes, sports and other services are available to assist callers in retrieving information. In addition to categories, Tellme® has a list of shortcuts which can be used from anywhere in the menu system to access specific services, such as time or weather.

The service provided by Tellme® can be used from any phone and is free with no signup required. However, if an account is created, it can be used to store certain searches as favorites. For example, the weather forecast for any town can be stored as a favorite to allow repeated use of the item.

The Tellme® service is a great way to get information on the go and can safely be used in the car or in a crowded environment when a telephone directory or computer may not be available.

Tellme® was acquired by Microsoft in 2007, allowing the software provider to leverage voice technology services in new and existing products.

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