RealTime IT News

Phone Accessible Portal Debuts

Shoutmail.com Inc. hopes to integrate two popular forms of communication with Thursday's launch of a Web portal for phone users.

Visitors to Shoutmail.com can access free e-mail, chat and telephony options by combining their telephone and computer, the firm said. To provide the services, Shoutmail has formed strategic alliances with Yahoo!, Hotmail and America Online.

Shoutmail's features include Who's Online, an application which provides users a list accessible by phone of friends who are online. It interfaces with AOL's Instant Messenger, Yahoo! Pager and ICQ.

Other applications include Instant Shoutmail, which allows users to send voice messages from a phone to an e-mail address, which the recipient receives as an audio file, a phone utility for checking and sending e-mail and a Web site information retrieval service accessible by phone.

Future plans include an e-commerce utility visitors can use by phone, the firm said. To provide the services, the company said it employs a patent-pending XML-based protocol to combine the two communications tools.

Jacob Guedalia, Shoutmail.com president and chief executive officer, said integrating different forms of communication will simplify expand the possibilities the Internet can offer.

"Shoutmail.com was founded on the vision of Internet-telephone convergence," he said. "It offers an open platform that supports the creation of new, compelling Web-phone applications and content,. . .turning the phone into an Internet messaging appliance."