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Here are some ideas about the future of the Audio Internet

From: Zablotsky Vladimir <vvzabl@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2012 15:06:49 +0300
Message-ID: <CAEV=1JikCSK8zQpYnd8wH=znPpQV8jPFXSsvw-z=D_CnF89J9A@mail.gmail.com>
To: public-audio@w3.org
Rapid development of wireless networks, smart phones, PDA and other mobile
Internet devices enables the user to obtain the desired content almost
anywhere and at any time. But there is one obstacle, complicating the use
of the content, or rather the absorption of the information. Most of the
information is supplied in a visual form, such as text, images, tables,
etc. In order to absorb the necessary information a screen and visual
attention are required. The need to stay in visual contact for the
absorption of information does not allow the information consumer to do
anything else, for example, to drive a car, walk or perform any other
manual task. Until recently, such distribution of information has been
justified by the weak development of technical facilities, limited capacity
of serversí memory, low-speed data channels. But today technical resources
allow one to store and instantly transmit large amounts of information over
the wireless communication channels.

The essence of my idea is as follows: the user receives the information
(content) in the form of audio files stored on servers as she/he manages
the information flow through voice commands and queries, or creates his own
information (content). That is, this would be similar to a radio channel
with feedback, which provides you with any information you need at your
request. These sites can carry a variety of audio information: news, music,
books, training and development programs, games, translators, perhaps
forums, where you can take part; this may be just a phone conversation with
your friends, which would be facilitated by Skype-like networks. From now
on I'll use audiointernet to designate the part of the Internet, which can
be used by a consumer without a screen, and audiosites, the specific
information channels.

Why and who needs it? It is necessary for providing a modern consumer with
the instant access to various types of information, even when she or he is
busy with a task that requires constant visual control (driving, hiking,
physical work, etc.). That is, at the moment when she or he is either
unable or unwilling to use the screen. Such a system of human interaction
with the Internet will allow the consumer to reach a new level of
information, limited only by the capacity of providers to ensure access to
the audiointernet. The consumer will gain an opportunity to remain at all
times within the information field of various audiosites.

In my view, the audiointernet will be in high demand among almost all
current mobile users. Primarily among those who are already actively using
the mobile Internet, namely young, modern people leading active lifestyles
who are in need of constant flow of information. In addition they will be
joined by middle-aged and older populaiton, who, until now, have only been
weakly exposed to the Internet. This segment of population might be
attracted by the simplicity of interface, which does not require any
specific knowledge or training. The structure of the voice commands and
queries should be kept simple and understandable and the audiositesí
interface should be based on typical structures.

In addition, the audiointernet can play a huge role in the social lives of
many people. Blind or visually impaired population has only limited access
to the Internet content. But with the advent of the audiointernet they will
be able to enjoy the same level of service as other users. Currently there
are 37 million of blind people in the world and 124 million more suffer
from serious visual impairment. In addition, in the world today there are
about 800 million illiterate adults and 113 million children who do not
attend school. For them audiointernet can serve as a window into the modern

Discarding screen will allow a simplified, budget model of the device with
the access to the audiointernet that will especially suite low-income
people. Ability to have constant access to a variety of information can
fundamentally change the attitude towards unskilled, manual labor and will
allow a person to develop and grow, regardless of the nature of his or her
occupation. In sum it turns out that virtually the entire adult population
of the globe will be prone to use the audiointernet network.

Despite the fact that the modern level of technical development allows the
audiointernet, to date there is no coherent policy in this matter, no
developed basic approaches, no specific standards, model structures or
protocols. Also there are no special audiobrawsers, search engines and
other necessary applications. But it's only a matter of time. There is
already a vast amount of content ready for the audiointernet, and it can
serve as a basis for creation of a new content. For example, Wikipedia can
get a stable funding, offering its users a paid audio version. Generally,
with regard to the commercial component of the audiointernet, the
opportunities are en par with the conventional visual internet.

Received on Tuesday, 20 March 2012 08:11:53 UTC

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