This year, I had the pleasure of delivering the conference keynote for AstriCon illustrating Asterisk’s role in the Internet of Things (IoT). AstriCon is the annual conference where open source Asterisk developers flock to discuss and demo telephony advancements.


In addition to the keynote, we participated in the Dangerous Demos hackathon hosted by @JamesBody and won the “Swan” award.  The Swan award is presented to the most flawless Asterisk demo with the most moving parts occurring out-of-sight. Our Dangerous Demo connected an Asterisk PBX running in Amazon AWS to Google Speech to interact with phone calls using speech recognition and text-to-speech. We connected Asterisk to Citrix Octoblu as well as a Blink1 LED and for natural language, artificial intelligence interaction via a telephone.  Here’s a slide that illustrates the hack:

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Users could dial into a phone number pointed at Asterisk and turn on/off the blink1 light as well as ask questions such as “Who was the inventor of the telephone?” or “What’s the weather in Glendale, AZ?” or “What’s Citrix’s stock price?” etc. The Citrix Dangerous Demo went flawlessly, as expected, so we decided to take it one step further by connecting a homemade t-shirt cannon launcher to Citrix Octoblu for the keynote. At my command onstage, we were able to launch several t-shirts into the audience!

Here’s a screenshot of our Octoblu IoT automation flow.  If you are interested in learning more about our flow, you can import its bluprint here.

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What did we learn from this event? Building these cool IoT demos under pressure was simple using Citrix Octoblu! More importantly, Asterisk has a key role in the future of IoT. Machines communicate with other machines (M2M) and platforms using hundreds of different real-time protocols. There are many times where machines need to communicate with humans or humans need to communicate with machines. Humans use protocols such as natural language speech, phones, SMS, email, etc. Asterisk can bridge phone calls and machines to facilitate human and machine communications.


To date, there are more than 10,000 registered users of Citrix Octoblu connecting more than one million devices that send more than 5 billion messages on a monthly basis. What will you build today?

Sign up and start building IoT applications using Citrix Octoblu today!

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