IBM India has developed the Hyperspeech Transfer Protocol (HSTP). It reads quite analogous to the Hypertext Transfer Protocol, which is the underlying protocol for Web today. A sample scenario of voice applications involving a grocery store and a payment gateway is discussed in the paper (PDF).
My immediate reaction was that it would really ease the mobile usage, where you need to navigate through the cumbersome keypad to use the Web. The voice Web will be a heaven-sent alternative. Some more thought and the skeptic start thinking about various other issues. What about identification and authentication? What about security? The HTTP Web is still struggling with these things.
But the most important issue would be regulating the mobile service providers, who play the role of a gatekeeper many-a-times. The HTTP Web works because ISPs do not have control, mostly, over what we can do and what not. The mobile world is still quite naive in this aspect.
Of course, I am playing the devil’s advocate here, because we get too busy in celebrating technology. The technical development, by itself, is very exciting for the mobile world and might even affect the way we use our computers. It can ease our life a lot, especially in countries like India where adoption of mobiles and computers is growing at a rampant rate. It might even bring a new meaning to the phrase moblogging!