I’ve been looking for a product to allow PC control over a modem using regular DTMF from a remote phone. I understand Comfort can do this and I don’t want to take anything away from them as it looks like a great product. But – I’ve recently found a chap in New Zealand who has developed some software called WinIVR that will answer the phone, play wav files, interpret DTMF codes and branch conditionally (playing more wav files, shelling out to external programs amongst other things).

You use a script builder to create “projects” that determines what wav files are played and what to do next when a number or sequence of numbers is pressed.

A really simple home automation project would entail a script of about 3 lines
– one to play a wav greeting and explain a menu (e.g. “Press 1 to turn all
lights on, 2 to turn all lights off”)
– one line to trigger an event when the user presses ‘1’ and shell out to
“xcomm32.exe All Lights On” (I forget the exact syntax)
– one line to trigger an event when the user presses ‘1’ and shell out to
“xcomm32.exe All Lights Off”

The program will also communicate with other apps by DDE, Sockets or reading output files. Other apps can use an ActiveX component to communicate with WinIVR.

The success of the setup appears to depend mostly on the modem you have attached to your pc. I started off with an internal US Robotics Voice modem which was, to put it mildly, cak! The wav files would break up and you couldn’t understand a word (sounded like a conversation with Stan Boardman!). However, after mailing Keith at Cecam, he recommended using a Modem Blaster as this had good playback quality and detected DTMF well. I went to PC World last night (ouch!) and bought one (gotta have it NOW!), installed it and got a basic project up and running in half an hour.

I tested it on three different phones, two different ones in my house and my mobile. One of the home phones caused the project to hang-up the phone when you pressed a key, but the other two worked fine.

My initial project with this will be to allow me to set up the video remotely. I’m always forgetting to set the vid when I go out, so this will let me dial home and program in time / duration etc. The PC will use an old RedRat (see which I’ve had for a while (learning RS232 IR device). I may extend this to include some HA stuff as well.

Unregistered, WinIVR plays a message stating it is unregistered before moving onto your first wav file.

Registration costs $40 (US dollars £25?) per line (it will multiple lines on a mini PABX).

Go to for more info. The software is 14Mb in size so it’s a whopping download on a 28.8 but I used my company’s fat internet pipe to get it. As I’ve already got it, AND with the author’s consent, I could cut a cd for any one that asks nicely (I’m NOT going to become a distributor for this!).

Approximate Price Around £25.00
Available From

1 Comment on "WinIVR"

  1. Hi, I know this message was posted in 2002, but I am looking for the WinIVR and I can’t find it, not even buy it. Could you help me getting it?
    Thank You!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.