Recent evolutions in mobile technologies are fostering new modes of interactions and allowing the creation of services that work seamlessly across devices. The same is true in Africa, given a penetration of mobile phones well over 50% of the population. The difference? Many: dumbphones instead of smartphones; low literacy level limits the possibility to use text-based services (be it web or SMS); scarcity of PCs; importance of community radios in rural areas.
Starting from projects on voice-based services for farmers in West Africa, the talk presents some of the most interesting cases of multi-channel approaches – that combine different eras of technology in one service. It details the possibilities that voice-based interactions can give to illiterate people to access information available on the web, as well as create a community-based repository of information. In conclusion, it reflects on the learnings and how these can be applied to Europe and North America.
21st–25th March 2012