It's common enough these days to use a phone to request data from a computer. Railroads, for instance, often let passengers dial in to hear a computer read timetable information. In most cases, though, the cost of such systems, which usually required proprietary software, has been so high that only large companies could afford them. Voysys Corp. is out to change that with a set of products that run on IBM-compatible PCs and use several popular programs.
The Fremont (Calif.) company's VoysAccess software lets callers locate and hear, in a computer-synthesized voice, information managed by programs such as FoxPro, dBase, and Visual Basic. VoysAccess takes advantage of a scheme from Microsoft Corp. called Telephony Application Programming Interface (TAPI), which helps PCs and phone equipment work together. VoysAccess development kits are due out in November, for about $900. Field testing has begun at South County Fire Authority in San Carlos, Calif., where firefighters can now call a PC from anywhere and schedule their overtime work.