In a bid to bridge the digital and language divide, Dr Emdad Khan, CEO of Internet Speech, in collaboration with Knowaysys Consulting and Intellectual Foundation, launched a voice-activated web access platform called netECHO in Pune on January 6. Dr Emdad Khan’s Silicon Valley-based firm Internet Service has provided Asia with its first Voice Internet Service that would allow a user to surf the net through simple voice commands. The service does not necessarily need a computer and can be done over the telephone too.
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At present, netEcho’s target customers are the elderly, the visually-impaired and those divided digitally. We have also sought collaboration from various businesses and the government to make this technology more reachable. As Khan puts it, this technology is a solution to the missing component in existing approaches.
Talking about the divide, a consequence of poverty in countries like India and Zambia, Dr Khan said, “Internet today is mandatory, whether you are using it on a computer or a smartphone. Our goal is to provide internet to everyone. Internet has extensively changed our lives but it has not yet touched the lives of the people living at the bottom of the pyramid.”
netECHO bridges this divide in an effective and concrete manner, by giving them affordable technology. Through this technology, netECHO also hopes to impact the economy with equal distribution of knowledge across the world. With this, the differently-abled will finally be able to reap the benefits of the digital wave.
netECHO can be accessed through a toll free number from January 12 in many languages, including Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, Urdu.
MD and CEO of Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation Vijay Bhatkar, Founder and CEO of Wavelet Group of companies Vivek Sawant and Dean (Academics), Yashada Dr Bharat Bhusan were present on the occasion.