Close Search
 
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
News  | 

Voice Portal - Internet for the Blind


14 August 2002 at 1:08 pm
Staff Reporter
A Sydney computer expert is developing Australia's first voice portal that offers access to the Internet via a standard telephone.

Staff Reporter | 14 August 2002 at 1:08 pm


0 Comments


 Print
Voice Portal - Internet for the Blind
14 August 2002 at 1:08 pm

A Sydney computer expert is developing Australia’s first voice portal that offers access to the Internet via a standard telephone. In the first instance it has enormous scope for the vision impaired to allow them to browse the World Wide Web – and it needs corporate assistance!

Stephen Choularton is an honours student at Macquarie University in the area of language technology.

Choularton says he’s very keen to establish a voice portal that goes beyond just accessing email over the telephone which is currently available via three services in the US. They are www.tellme.com, www.bevocal.com and www.heyanita.com.

Research being carried out for his thesis has voice portals being linked to the Internet and any form of information which is capable of being placed on a database can be accessed using voice alone.

So how does it work? The user doesn’t need a computer, just a telephone. If a vision-impaired person can use the phone then they dial the voice portal and make their request. The computer at the other end finds the appropriate Internet site and connects the user with that site.

So if you are looking for a cheap airline ticket for example, the caller uses normal speech to make the request. The computer finds an appropriate airline or ticketing agent and redirects to that site where the conversation continues until the caller is satisfied.

But any information on the Internet can be accessed; encyclopedias, weather forecasters, stock markets you name it!

Choularton says the application is not just for the blind but for anyone who needs the Internet without having to use their own computer and predicts that within five years all large and medium sized companies will handle all their routine inquiries using this method.

He says his aim is to produce applications that help and don’t frustrate.

He’s also keen to see corporations sponsor organisations assisting blind people to ensure the voice portal technology is available to them.

You can check out the research at www.ics.mq.edu.au/~stephenc.



PB Careers
Get your biweekly dose of news, opinion and analysis to keep you up to date with what’s happening and why it matters for you, sent every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers? Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au or download our contributor guidelines.

Advertisement

CFRE

 Print

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Donation Dollar offers a way for Australians to give regularly

Bruce Argyle

Tuesday, 22nd September 2020 at 8:00 am

Podcast: The unsaid power of permission in leadership

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 22nd September 2020 at 8:00 am

You call it philanthropy, we call it ‘Devlopman Tèt Ansanm’

Marie-Rose Romain Murphy

Monday, 21st September 2020 at 6:14 pm

pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook
×

We need your help.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Pro Bono Australia has seen a devastating fall in advertising and less people posting on our job board, which is how we fund our free news service. You can show us that you value the work we do by making a contribution.

 Make a contribution 

You have Successfully Subscribed!