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The IBM World Wide Spoken Web (also referred to as The World Wide Telecom Web) is the vision of a Web for the billions of under-privileged, that is parallel and complementary to the existing World Wide Web. Though primarily meant for the under-served population in emerging economies, it has several applications for other segments as well.
Sheetal K. Agarwal, Jyoti Grover, Anupam Jain, Ajith K Jujjuru, Arun Kumar, Priyanka Manwani, Sougata Mukherjea, Amit A. Nanavati, Nitendra Rajput, Shrey Sahay, Meghna Singh, Kundan Srivastava, Saurabh Srivastava, Jerome White : IBM Research - India
Dipanjan Chakraborty: IBM Research - India
Sandeep Jindal : IBM Application Management Services
Sameer Aggarwal (IIT Guwahati),
Udit Pareek (IIT Guwahati),
Neil Patel (Stanford),
Mamadou Diao (Georgia Tech),
Aayush Kumar (CMU),
Kunaal Wadhwa (UCLA)
The World Wide Web (WWW) 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 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.
The World Wide Telecom Web (“WWTW”, “TelecomWeb”, “T-Web” or Spoken Web) is our vision of a voice-driven ecosystem parallel and complementary to that of the WWW. WWTW is a network of VoiceSites that are voice driven applications created by users themselves and hosted in the network.
WWTW is defined as an information and services space in which the items of interest, referred to as VoiceSites, are identified by global identifiers called VoiNumbers and maybe interconnected through VoiLinks.
A VoiNumber is a virtual phone number that either maps onto a physical phone number or to other uniform resource identifiers such as a SIP URI.
A VoiceSite is a voice driven application that consists of one or more voice pages (e.g. VoiceXML files) that are hosted in the telecom infrastructure. VoiceSites are accessed by calling up the associated VoiNumber and interacting with its underlying application flow, primarily through a telephony interface.
A VoiLink is a hyperlink from one VoiceSite to another through which a caller interacting with the source VoiceSite can be transferred to the target VoiceSite in the context of the underlying application.
WWTW, we believe, has the potential to deliver to under-privileged, what WWW delivers to IT literate users today. Specifically,
Key enabler technologies have been developed, several pragmatic solutions have been proposed and some deployed in the field, all of which contribute as building blocks of this new voice web accessible over an ordinary telephone call.
Related Publications are available here and here