IBM India

Spoken Web

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Aug 31, 2009
Spoken Web data sheet 5971 Views
Organization that developed the Tool: 
Main Contact: 
Arun Kumar
Problem or Need: 

The World Wide Web enabled quick and easy information dissemination and brought about fundamental changes to various aspects of our lives. However, a very large number of people, mostly in developing regions, are still untouched by this revolution. Compared to PCs, the primary access mechanism to the WWW, mobile phones have made a phenomenal penetration into this population segment. Low cost of ownership, the simple user interface consisting of a small keyboard, limited menu and voice-based access contribute to the success of mobile phones with the less literate. However, apart from basic voice communication, these people are not being able to exploit the benefits of information and services available to WWW users. Spoken Web is designed to provide the benefits of IT to the underprivileged population in developing countries who are characterized by illiteracy and poverty.

Main Contact Email : 
Brief Description: 

Spoken Web is an entire platform that lets ordinary phone subscribers create and deploy their own applications and services over a simple phone call. It can be used to proliferate IT information and transactional services to masses on existing IT/Telecom infrastructure. It requires no additional cost of ownership to end users other than an ordinary phone.

Tool Category: 
App resides and runs on a server
Key Features : 
  • Creation and deployment of voice apps
  • Reaching out to masses on existing infrastructure


Main Services: 
Stand-alone Application
Tool Maturity: 
Under development/pre-launch
All phones -- Voice
Current Version: 
Program/Code Language: 
Number of Current End Users: 
Number of current beneficiaries: 
Languages supported: 
Handsets/devices supported: 
All voice-capable phones.
Article in the Economic Times:
Is the Tool's Code Available?: 
Is an API available to interface with your tool?: 

VoiKiosk: Content Creation and Dissemination by-and-for Users in Rural Areas

Posted by PrabhasPokharel on Aug 21, 2009
VoiKiosk: Content Creation and Dissemination by-and-for Users in Rural Areas data sheet 69858 Views
Sheetal Agarwal, Arun Kumar, Amit Anil Nanavati, Nitendra Rajput
Publication Date: 
Jan 2009
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

83% of the world population does not have access to Internet. Therefore there is a need for a simple and affordable interaction technology that can enable easy content creation and dissemination for this population. In this paper, we present the design, development and usage pattern of a VoiKiosk system that provides a voice-based kiosk solution for people in rural areas. This system is accessible by phone and thus meets the affordability and low literacy requirements. We present usability results gathered from usage by more than 900 villagers during four month of the on-field deployment of the system.

The on-field experiments suggest the importance of locally created content in their own language for this population. The system provides interesting insights about the manner in which this community can create and manage information. Based on the use of the system in the four months, the VoiKiosk also suggests a mechanism to enable social networking for the rural population.