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This is an odd request, but I'm hoping some of you have had to field it before:

We have an office in New York and remote employees in Oregon and Florida. Communication is extremely important to us, and we would really like to set up a system that worked like an intercom over IP. There's something about waiting for a phone to ring that's not satisfying enough; we'd like a 3-way walkee talkee system that works cross-country.

Odd request, I know. I'm wondering if there isn't a solution out there though.

I appreciate your help in advance. Thank You!

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4  
...keep a computer with Skype running set to auto-answer and put a megaphone in front of the speaker? –  Bart Silverstrim Nov 16 '11 at 18:01
    
or attach it to a massive ghettoblaster, call it 'GlobalBoombox3000', sell it, drop mic, win... –  Chopper3 Nov 16 '11 at 18:05
    
This sounds annoying... –  Zoredache Nov 16 '11 at 18:10
1  
for a different form of notification, attach an Olly (ollyfactory.com) to the computer, so there will be an odor associated with the connecting office that will waft through the workspace, indicating an incoming call. –  cjc Nov 16 '11 at 18:10

4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Most VOIP systems have intercom functionality - http://www.voip-info.org/wiki/view/Asterisk+Paging+and+Intercom has a bunch of info that might be useful, and googling "Asterisk Intercom" will probably give you a bunch more.

If you don't have a VOIP system I'd go with Skype though - less setup.

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Skype

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3  
You forgot the megaphone. –  Bart Silverstrim Nov 16 '11 at 18:02
    
Hey. Normally I would downvote answers consisting of just a link! –  mailq Nov 16 '11 at 18:48
    
me too, but what more is there to say?! –  Chopper3 Nov 16 '11 at 19:25

You can configure most VoIP phones to auto-answer and use their speakerphone. Or, you can also have the server send hints to auto-answer.

Alternately, use some network-based speakers or even an intercom wired into the audio port on a computer. Lots of hackish ways to do so, it just depends on your budget and tolerance for 'nifty hacks'.

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There's also Google Plus Hangouts, if you want group video chat. But, yeah, Skype.

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Is G+ scaled to handle 3 concurrent users yet? ;) –  Chopper3 Nov 16 '11 at 18:09
    
A friend of mine did an impromptu concert with about 8 people a couple weeks ago! –  cjc Nov 16 '11 at 18:11
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There's 9 people om G+ already/still?! :) –  Chopper3 Nov 16 '11 at 18:12

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