" Your call is being answered by Audix .... "Oh Hell! What could be more annoying to the ear, especially when you are hoping to get through to someone urgently on the phone. Apparently, one has a high chance of hearing this monotonous voice as this answering system is being employed in over 100Million phone lines over the world. But what in the world is Audix or to be specific who the hell is she!
Like many great technological innovations of uncertain origin, Audix owes its parentage to Bell Labs. Inspired by the early popularity of telephone answering machines for the home, Bell Labs (the company that gave you the Telephone) technicians wanted to build a similar system for corporate phone networks -- one that didn't involve the use of annoying plastic minitapes. After engineers found a way to store the phone messages digitally, the company introduced the first system in 1984, dubbing it "Audix," or Audio Information Exchange.
So who's voice are we hearing? The more than 100 million Audix systems comes preprogrammed with that recorded announcement of Lorraine Nelson, 54, a former radio reporter who has played the role of Audrey Audix for many years. Audix is now owned by Avaya Inc.
Lately, I have been hearing a lot of Ms. Nelson's sonorous tone, which actually prompted me to write this. And for your information I have been job hunting.
With inputs from Ron Leiber of www.fastcompany.com