How Text Engine Works
Although there's a lot going on behind the scenes to make Text Engine work, the concept is fairly simple.
Here's how Text Engine works, in a nutshell:
- First, you sign up.
- Once you sign up, you're given a regular, 10-digit phone number. This is the number you will text your queries to.
- Queries are sent in the form of commands. After sign up, there is a tutorial video as well as a cheat sheet for you to follow.
- You send the query/command to the 10-digit phone number. For example, if you want the weather forecast, you would send "weather + [ZIPCODE]" (where [ZIPCODE] is actually your postal code).
- Then, Text Engine goes out to the appropriate web service or API, retrieves your result, and sends the answer back to you in the form of text messages.
It's that simple. Where users get a little hung up is on the weird fact that they're not texting to a person on the other end. Normally, when you send a text message, you're sending it to a friend or relative who's waiting on the other end. The person gets your message and manually types out a response and sends it back to you.
Well, with Text Engine, there's no "person" on the other end. What's on the other end is a server and a bunch of code that serves as a sort of artificial intelligence, if you will. It works just as if you were texting to a human being, but you're not. Your texting to a computer program that "reads" your request, "interprets" it, and then "answers" it.
Think of it like texting to a robot. It's just a pretty smart robot that can answer virtually any question you put to it, as long as you frame the question with the proper commands that the robot understands.