in General

Sprint IP Relay

Ok, this may be slightly off-topic, but it’s the coolest internet thing I’ve run across in a while so I figured I ought to share it with our loyal BrainFuel readers:

Sprint IP Relay (

Basically, you can type in the phone number of someone on the web site and a relay operator (real person) will call them. The relay operator will tell the person on the phone whatever you type. You can literally carry on a completely anonymous phone conversation (for the most part) with anyone of your choice, over the internet. For free.

This service is meant mainly for the deaf and hard of hearing, but my curiosity got the best of me and I tried calling myself with it. Sure enough, my phone rang a couple of seconds later and a real person was on the other end ready to read off whatever was typed over the internet. I typed a couple of phrases to myself like, “Hello!” and “How are you doing?”. It was really creepy hearing a stranger read it back to me over the phone.

After I saw it was real, I didn’t want to waste any more of the operator’s time, so I disconnected. In retrospect, I wouldn’t recommend wasting their time like I did. So yeah. Don’t do that.

One of my best friends is deaf, so I’ll probably tell him about this service since he always has a hard time understanding people over the phone. Now he can talk to them by typing on the internet. Cool!

For those of you who want to try a different flavor of webpage-to-phone calling, check this web page out. You can make up to 10 calls to any phone number, from any phone number (fake caller ID), complete with a selection of computerized voices to read your typed message. Entertaining. I used it to call my fiancee and she was pretty freaked out.

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  1. Wow, that’s fascinating! What a great idea. It would be handy, too, if you needed to call someone but you didn’t have your phone (like if I had wanted to call someone while I was in Brasil from the internet).

  2. Chris, nope, that would not work. I just tried it from Costa Rica and it’s restricted to US users. You could use a US proxy to access the website though.

  3. At work, we use Skytel 2-Way pagers (a.k.a Barbie laptops) and they utilize a similar feature. If you send a text message to a phone number, the person receiving the “call” will hear an automated voice relaying the message when they pick up. A coworker really got a kick out of the “All your base are belong to us” text message I sent him.