What’s a multi-modal application? One that does phone, web, and perhaps Twitter, etc. One example is TwitterVoteReport, a Rails application that collected reports of waiting time at the polls for the 2008 US election. Produced in 3 weeks by Dave Troy. Input came from telephone, Twitter, SMS.

Here’s how Dave did it:

Open-source Software to do Voice

  • Adhearsion Ruby library for easing call handling. Provides a domain language for doing voice in Ruby
  • Asterisk actually talks to the phone system

h3. Other Options

  • Rhomobile Allows Ruby/HTML application to be deployed natively to iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian, Android. For front end.
  • Mozes commercial alternative to phone/SMS/web applications
  • Tropo.com hosts Adhearson and Asterisk in the cloud, so less work for you. Also supports languages beyond Ruby.

Jason Goecke @jsgoecke is a partner at Adhearsion.