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Using Mobile Web technologies in Social Development

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Stéphane Boyera

Human Factors in Telecommunication 2008

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, March 19 2008

W3C: Leading the Web to its Full Potential

Founded by Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee in 1994 ...

Graph of Globe
  • 1994: Creation of W3C for standardization and interoperability of Web technologies
  • 1997: Creation of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI): To make the Web Accessible
  • 2005: Creation of the Mobile Web Initiative (MWI): To Access the Web from Mobile Phones

Next Step ?

a child with a fake mobile phone Since 2006: W3C explores how the Web on mobile phones could be a potential solution to bridge the Digital Divide and leverage Web access in Developing Countries.
(Photo Source : The Economist )

Needs of ICT?

An Indian Monk with a mobile phone ICT is a great opportunity to deploy services toward rural communities and underprivileged populations in Developing Countries:
  • Government Services
  • Education
  • Health
  • Banking
  • Communities services
  • Business
  • ...
(Photo Source: Der Spiegel)

How to provide access to ICT?

Can Mobile phones be an ICT platform? How?

Proof of Concept: SMS Applications

sms based system to get the market price for goods
  • Principle:
    • Send an SMS to a specific number with specific keywords
    • Receive the answer in an other SMS
  • Success Stories
    • Banking
    • NGOs-run SMS based system: e-gov, business (market poll), health, ...
  • But few problems:
    • Interoperability problems
    • Discoverability of services
    • limited interaction
    • costly/inappropriate infrastructure
    • no standardized development kit
(Photo Source: Vodafone)



Next Steps

W3C to launch a new group to in April/May 2008:

W3C to organize a workshop on the Role of Mobile Technologies in Fostering Social Development

Joining the work now


This work is part of the Digital World Forum project supported by the European Union's 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7)

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