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1. (WO1999063734) METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR IDENTIFYING AND REPLYING TO A CALLER
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CLAIMS
1. A method of retrieving information about a caller comprising the steps of:
recording a vocal utterance made by the caller; and
accessing a database to retrieve information about the caller as a function of the recorded vocal utterance.

2. The method of claim 1, comprising:
identifying a calling location of the caller; and
accessing the database as a function of the identified calling location and the received caller identifying tones.

3. A method of replying to a caller comprising the steps of:
identifying a calling location of the caller;
recording a vocal utterance made by the caller;
accessing a database as a function of the identified calling location and the recorded vocal utterance to retrieve caller information, wherein the caller information includes a caller reply location; and
sending a reply to the caller reply location.

4. The method of claim 3, wherein the calling location is different from the caller reply location.

5. The method of claim 3, wherein the reply is an electronic mail message.

6. The method of claim 3, wherein the reply is a recorded message.

7. The method of claim 3, wherein the caller reply location is a voice mailbox.

8. The method of claim 3, comprising:
converting the vocal utterance to a string of characters, wherein the database is accessed as a function of the string of characters.

9. A method of storing a single voice mail message from a caller comprising the steps of: identifying a calling location of the caller;
recording a spoken name uttered by the caller;
accessing a database as a function of the identified location and the recorded spoken name to retrieve the caller information; and
recording a message uttered by the caller and storing the recorded spoken name and the recorded message information together as a single voice mail message.

10. A system for retrieving information about a caller comprising:
means for identifying a calling location of the caller;
means for storing a vocal utterance made by the caller; and
means for accessing a database as a function of the identified calling location and the recorded vocal utterance.

11. A system for replying to a caller comprising:
means for identifying a calling location of the caller;
means for storing a vocal utterance made by the caller;
means for accessing a database as a function of the identified calling location and the recorded vocal utterance to retrieve caller information, wherein the caller information includes a caller reply location; and
means for sending a reply to the caller reply location.

12. A method of forming a reply to a voice message on a first voice mail system, comprising the steps of:
identifying a caller providing the voice message;
retrieving information related to the identified caller; and
providing the retrieved information to a second voice mail system to enable the reply.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the retrieving information step includes retrieving a reply address of the caller.

14. The method of claim 12, wherein the identifying a caller step includes identifying a caller using speech recognition.

15. The method of claim 12, wherein the identifying a caller step includes identifying a caller using DTMF tones.

16. The method of claim 12, wherein the identifying a caller step includes identifying a caller using automatic number identification.

17. The method of claim 12, wherein the identifying a caller step includes identifying a caller using speaker verification.