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The Medium is the Message

An overveiw of a telephone-message organizer that allows users to interact with the system by voice.

You pick up the phone, press a few keys, and a woman's voice at once warm and businesslike asks who's there.

"It's me," you answer.

"Oh, hi," says Wildfire, recognizing your voice and sounding happy to hear from you.

"Do I have any messages?"

"Yes. Your wife called. Would you like to hear the message?"

You say yes, and Wildfire plays it for you. Then you ask Wildfire where you're supposed to be at 5:30 p.m.

"You will be in your car," answers Wildfire.

"Actually," you explain, "I'll be in a meeting in the large conference room."

"OK, I'll forward your calls there."

"Thanks, Wildfire."

Later, Wildfire rings to ask if you'll take a call from John Smith. You do, but a minute later Wildfire interrupts to ask if you'll take a call from your wife. You tell Wildfire you'll call your wife back, and Wildfire relays the message. Smith hasn't heard the interruption.

And you thought good help was hard to find.

Wildfire is a telephone-message organizer made by Wildfire Communications, in Lexington, Mass.

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Last updated: Mar 15, 1995

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