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VOIGEN : A Technology for Enabling Data Services in Developing Regions

World Wide Web has made information accessible to computer users in various ways not imagined before. However, there is a huge pool of people, especially in developing countries, who are still untouched by this revolution and are either unaware of or are unable or to join this bandwagon.
Strong penetration of mobile phones into these masses as a powerful yet cheap device comes as a breather. It is increasingly empowering the under-privileged to utilize data and services beyond the basic voice communication. However, various factors particular to these masses, present an impedance to enable such access. These include user interface issues, cultural issues, cost factors, illiteracy, infrastructural issues etc. To this effect, we have developed VOIGEN -- a voice-driven generator of voice-based applications that addresses some of these issues while enabling underprivileged users to derive benefits from data and services accessible to WWW users. VOIGEN enables ordinary telephone subscribers to create, deploy and offer customized voice-driven applications through a simple voice-based interface accessible from telephony devices. Results from a user study of our prototype implementation, suggest a tremendous potential of this technology for IT access in developing regions

By: Arun Kumar, Nitendra Rajput, Dipanajan Chakraborty, Sandeep Jindal, Amit Anil Nanavati

Published in: RI07001 in 2007

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