06621892 is referenced by 300 patents.
A system and method are provided for converting a textual portion of an electronic mail message into audio and delivering the audio through a telephone call to a recipient. An electronic mail server is configured to receive a mail message and parse an address to retrieve a telephone number included in or associated with said address. One or more textual portions of the mail message are converted to audio by a text-to-audio converter and combined into an audio message. The audio message may include an identifier of a sender or originator of the mail message, a subject of the mail message, text included in the body of the mail message, etc. An audio attachment included with the mail message may be included in the audio message. A call processor establishes a telephonic connection with the recipient, plays the audio message and may record a response from the recipient. If a response is provided, it is relayed back to the originator of the mail message. The recipient may be able to specify circumstances (.g., time of day, different telephone number) or criteria (e.g., originator identity, size of mail message) under which the recipient will or will not accept telephone delivery of audio forms of electronic mail messages. The system may apply a set of rules to ensure that audio forms of mail messages are limited, or not sent at all, to emergency numbers, directory assistance, toll-free numbers, etc.