Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Gizmo 3.0 (Voice for all IMs) is a right step - but could do even better

GigaOM reports that the Gizmo Project is getting even better. Since two days you can download the version 3.0 for Windows. Apple and Linux have to wait as always.
JUST RELEASED: How do you make Gizmo Project better? Add free calling to other IM clients to the service. And that’s exactly what SIPphone, the company behind Gizmo Project, has done with the just-out-of-oven Gizmo Project 3.0 soft client. You can now make free calls to people that use Yahoo Messenger and Windows Live IM networks, in addition to those who are using Jabber, Google Talk and Gizmo Project. (Where is AIM, damn it?)

The company claims that it is the first VoIP software client to tie multiple popular VoIP networks. Gizmo Project 3.0 include real-time file sharing which users to exchange files with other Gizmo Project 3.0 users, or send files directly to any major Jabber client.

To make a call, users simply type the username or ID of the person they want to call plus the network domain, for example, or Gizmo Project 3.0 users can also call international Yahoo Messenger users for free in France, Spain, and many other countries, for example or
This sounded so interesting to me that I directly had to check it out myself. I have been waiting very long for such an integration. And I want to tell you why: I am living in Germany but I have a lots of friends in Peru. International phones calls are quite expensive for them. While I can call them nearly for free, using Voipstunt, they have to pay a lot to call my German number. That's why I am using the Gizmo Project.

Gizmo is installed on my analog telephony adapter (ATA) to let my Peruvian friends call me for free on my normal German telephone, which is connected to this ATA, while my computer is switched of.

Until some days ago they had to install the Gizmo soft phone on their computer to call me this way. That's quite a problem since most of them don't know the program, but they are intense users of Skype and MSN messenger. So it was a real relief when they started the website Now my friends can call me for free from their browser by clicking this link:
That's a lot better, but not yet perfect. Gizmo Call requires Adobe Flash 9 for Microsoft Windows or Apple Macintosh and you have to install a small *.exe as plugin to your browser. There is no Linux version yet. The call length is normally limited to 3 minutes per call and 10 minutes a day. But this does not apply to me, because the link establishes a call to my Gizmo Project address, which makes my normal phone ring. So the call does not leave their network and so it's free and unlimited.

With the new softphone Gizmo Project 3.0 I can call my friends on their MSN messenger address, which is normally But much better would be, if they could call my Gizmo adress from their MSN messenger, which they are anyway using all day to text message each other. This would really be my personal killer application! Nearly all Peruvians I know use the MSN messenger. But they don't know about Gizmo or VoIP.

But sadly that's not possible. From the Gizmo Project you can call users of the MSN messenger, but not the other way around. That's because Gizmo uses only a one way bridge.

It might be interesting to you that Gizmo uses the address "" to bridge calls between the Gizmo Project client and the MSN messenger. This means that Gtalk2VoIP was not only the first company in the business of bridging instant messaging and VoIP. Gizmo is also using their infrastructure.

The address "" is a bridge. This means: You can call from the Gizmo Project soft phone to the MSN messenger, but not the other way around. The address "" is now a member of my MSN messenger contact list. When I call it or chat to it it does not answer. It would be so great if instead it would ask me the Gizmo-ID of the person I want to call. In this case people could really ring my phone from the MSN messenger.
I hope that the Gizmo people will put this function on their ToDo list.
I also tried a small hack to solve the problem: I wanted to enlist my Gizmo SIP address in Microsoft's Passport network, so that MSN messenger users can chat to it and call it. But that is not possible because Gizmo's SIP address does not work as an e-mail address, although it looks like one. With other email adresses it's easy to chat on MSN. You just have to enlist it at and then you can chat with it on the MSN messenger, without having a Hotmail address.
This should be another point on Gizmo's ToDo list and maybe solve the problem.
Altogether Gizmo Call 3.0 is a good step in the right direction. I appreciate every effort to build bridges between the dozens of different instant messaging and VoIP phone services. But to be really great and let my friends save their spare money, the integration must go also in the other direction.
Let the IM users make phone calls to Gizmo users!
I know that is technically possible. The bridge users like "" would just have to ask for the Gizmo-ID you want to call. They would work in a similar way like an access number for a calltrough services, like Tpad. Maybe an even more classy solution is possible?

And by the way:

Gizmo's new service service has some kind of answering machine: If the MSN contacts do not answer they get an e-mail with the message as a *.WAV attachement. It looks like this:
----Original Message Follows----
From: GTalk2VoIP Gateway
To: ***
Subject: Voice mail from: ***
Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2007 10:54:13 GMT

This message contains a voice mail sent to you from Yahoo, Google Talk or MSN Messenger or a SIP phone user *** by GTalk2VoIP voice gateway.
Additional information about voice services available at
Thank you.


OK, It seems that one of my whishes has already come true, as I see in this blog comment:

It is possible to call Gizmo users from MSN, Yahoo and GTalk. Just type a command to the service bot (, like:
Then, accept a call back and wait for connection to set up.

PS: Google Talk users can even add Gizmo’s contacts to their roster and call by pressing “call” button. Details are here:


Ruslan on February 28th, 2007 at 11:44 AM - #

Good job, Ruslan! Thank you. I checked it out directly. Works great!

I said "CALL" to the MSN messenger user "" and then my phone ringed. Tried it out further by having a little talk to another person who went with the wireless phone to the kitchen. Great sound quality.

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