Voice Service Provides Internet Access To The Digitally-Illiterate

Voice Service Provides Internet Access To The Digitally-Illiterate

Verbal is a audio-enabled platform that wants to give Internet access to people who don’t own computers or mobile devices.

Daniela Walker
  • 14 january 2014

While the terms ‘digital natives’ and ‘Internet Age’ are often bandied about, the truth is that they only apply to a certain sect of society. There are over 4 billion people who are still not connected to the internet, according to a report by the International Telecommunication Union, which is more than half of the world’s population. Verbal, is a new service by Flock a digital agency based in Mexico City, which gives people who either do not have access to the internet because of technology or knowledge, and connects them to the web via a regular phone.

With Verbal, users can access the internet using any time of phone, mobile or landline, and then use voice commands to either send emails or search for information. Key to Verbal is the fact that phones are still the primary mode of communication for people around the world. On their Kickstarter website, they explain:

In contrast to the meager numbers in broadband penetration, the amount of people that have access to voice telephony is staggering: 29% percent for landlines and a whopping 96% for mobile. Verbal aims to deliver internet services and content, through voice telephony, to potentially millions of users in many countries.

The service uses cloud computing and voice recognition programs to create a voice-activated internet. It is like talking to Siri, except without a fancy phone or internet connection.

Verbal is an admirable project that aims to bridge the digital divide and truly make the world more connected.

Watch their Kickstarter video below:


Source/Image: Verbal Kickstarter

+developing world
+digital natives
+Latin America
+mexico city

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