Ribbit Jumps On VoIP Wagon At DEMO

Jan 29, 2008 (12:01 PM EST)

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Back in December, Ribbit set out to become "Silicon Valley's first phone company" by pitching a unique business model. Now the startup is getting ready to launch its first consumer service that promises to bridge traditional telephony and the Web.

The new service, code-named Amphibian, will become available to consumers in the second quarter of this year and will be able to transform any physical phone into a physical/virtual phone to be used with Web environments, Ribbit announced this week at the Demo show in Palm Desert, Calif.

"Many of us migrated to the virtual world of the Web as the first wave of Web-based and VoIP solutions began to emerge. But the flow of personal and business communication continues to evolve, and soon all of us will need to thrive in both worlds, and move between them with ease. That's the vision behind voiceware and Ribbit's Amphibian service," said Crick Waters, the company's co-founder and VP of strategy and business development, in a statement.

Amphibian falls under a category called voiceware, which Ribbit defines as a new technology that bridges the gap between traditional telephony and the Web by integrating voice communication into business and personal life.

Ribbit owns a Lucent-tested class 5 softswitch infrastructure and has developed an open platform that allows developers to integrate voice communications into software and Web sites. The platform includes Ribbit's SmartSwitch coupled with Flash/Flex-based application programming interfaces.

To see InformationWeek's demo of the platform, click here.

The startup also launched the Ribbit Store that offers voiceware applications, voice widgets, and social feeds from over 2,500 developers. Developers can tie voice from any Flash-enabled browser to the public switched telephone network and voice-over-IP networks, according to Ribbit. They will be able to market and monetize those applications through the Ribbit Store.