In the phone book, between ZZYZYK Typographics in Springville and the Easy Reference Guide to Utah Valley, are the pages of Provo's "talking" directory.
Unless you're an avid phone book reader you probably aren't familiar with the Voice Directory, a multi-page guide to news and service agencies accessible through a local phone number and four-digit codes."This is a new dimension in the information explosion," said Steven Taylor, Western regional manager for Voice Directory. "You now have the ability to access information via the phone."
And statistics show more than 400,000 calls a month from Utah County are received at Voice Directory.
Just dial 373-9900, hear the greeting and enter your selected four-digit code from the guide. Along with the requested information the caller hears commercial messages from Voice Directory sponsors.
In Utah Valley, Voice Directory provides business tips, weather updates, health-care information, Brigham Young University sports scores and activities, and more.
"It's for when something comes up and you want to know about it now," Taylor said.
"The telephone used to be a phenomenal invention . . . now the phone is on its second generation - offering information sources," he said. "You used to call Aunt Alice for news; now you can call the Dow Jones or Channel 2 News."
The idea of a voice directory started with a Wichita, Kan., company called "BriteVoice." Some media, including several metropolitan newspapers like the Arizona Republic, use BriteVoice as a "news infomat" system.
Plans for future expansion of the Voice Directory are already in progress. In the future Voice Directory will offer interactive high-tech games and other activities.
Taylor encourages people to try out the Voice Directory and become familiar with the information system that's available at the touch of a finger. Come winter those updated weather reports may just come in handy.