Voip (finally?) Getting Interesting

According to this piece at the inq Intel has a crack at computer telephony by way of the WSJ, Intel (of all people) is looking to finally deliver on the promise of voip.

Voip for a long time has followed the all too common path of disruptive path of not really disrupting anything at all. The voip story for a long time has been all about copying exactly what the old technology did with a new technology at a lower price – rather that trying to radically re-think what’s possible with the new media outside of the old constraints.

Out of the blue, here’s Intels remedy for reimagining voip:

Intel is working on ideas that will give broader access to online meetings with TiVo-style playback, instant captioning of conversations and translation into multiple languages.

It also wants to make improvements to the quality of calls and improve security and reliability. By 2008, Grobman expects to add an isolated layer of software called a “collaboration virtual appliance.” Once installed, the crash of a PC’s main operating system wouldn’t interrupt a VOIP call or conference.

Other tools could include identification of the the current speaker during a conference call, or to mute a participant who is generating background noise. Grobman said that he would like to see automatic transcription or translation of conferences. more

I just though this interesting in the context of my last post on Enterprise Search. Of anyone, you would think the MS Office/Sharepoint crew should be thinking hard about indexing audio and the future of voip… etc.

Intel is, of course, behind any new idea that means we all need faster chips (multiple streams of transcoded, transcribed, translated and voice conversations (all neatly tagged and auto-indexed) done realtime on every desktop sure would do the trick).

What do you think is the real killer app for digital voice in the workplace?

(and I know what your are going to say, that Nortel had this all figured out in 1993 and cisco and nortel probably even ran dueling tv commercials on the idea in the dotcon days, but what became of that right?)