DTMF (dual tone multi frequency) is the signal to the phone company that you generate when you press an ordinary telephone's touch keys. In the United States and perhaps elsewhere, it's known as "Touchtone" phone (formerly a registered trademark of AT&T). DTMF has generally replaced loop disconnect ("pulse") dialling. With DTMF, each key you press on your phone generates two tones of specific frequencies. So that a voice can't imitate the tones, one tone is generated from a high-frequency group of tones and the other from a low frequency group. Here are the signals you send when you press your Touchtone phone keys:Content Continues Below
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A number of companies make microchips that send and receive DTMF signals. The Telephony Application Program Interface (TAPI) provides a way for a program to detect DTMF digits.