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HP Labs India creates Internet-via-SMS

By harnessing the power of the cloud, HP Labs India has just revolutionized Internet access for some 300 million mobile phone users. It's called SiteonMobile, and as the name suggests, it's all about compressing the Web experience into simple SMS- and voice-driven interaction.

It works by 'packaging' popular interaction on websites into 'tasklets' that can be executed via SMS or interactive voice response (IVR). Amazon, for example, could package book-buying into a simple SMS message: 'buy harry potter 4'. Presumably you could call a number and speak the same command. These tasklets are easy to make and require no programming knowledge.

It's quite hard to get your head around -- and if you're a Westerner you're probably thinking 'why?' -- but bear in mind that only 50% of mobile handsets in India can surf the Web. In less-developed African and Asian countries I'm sure that percentage is much lower. Imagine the wealth of knowledge that could become available with a Wikipedia SiteonMobile tasklet. You could be tending to your crops in sub-Saharan Africa... and studying the impact of British colonialism via SMS. Very cool -- and to think, only a few days ago I was asking for more apps on dumbphones!

There's a video of the technology in action after the break.

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Tags: developing world, DevelopingWorld, dumbphone, hp, hp labs, HpLabs, india, internet, phone, siteonmobile, sms, tasklet, third world, ThirdWorld, voice, wap