411 By SMS

AT&T Wireless is making some news by offering 411 information service by SMS. Sounds cool, but I wonder how well it works. They say it’s been designed to understand multiple format requests, but people can be strange in how they request info – especially via SMS. The way it works is you just send an SMS query for directory info for a person or business name to 2411, and they’ll respond with whatever info they have. They say it will even respond to general queries, like “pizza.redmond” for all pizza places in Redmond, Washington. The plan is to charge 40 cents per request (plus regular SMS fees) plus an additional 50 cents if you want driving directions.

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