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Voice 2.0: A Manifesto for the Future

Two days ago I spent the day travelling to Toronto and back on the Via Rail.  It turned into a rather long day, because just outside Brockville a train ahead of us on the track had a partial derailment.  The tracks were damaged, the train was damaged, and sometime just after midnight (after leaving us on the trains for over three hours), Via threw in the towel, called some buses, and sent us all home.

I had some time to write, and jotted down some ideas about Voice 2.0 which have been rattling around in my head for the last three weeks.  These have grown out of a series of conversations and email threads with Howard Thaw, Andy Abramson, Jeff Pulver, Martin Geddes, Richard Shockey, Bob Frankston, Henry Sinnreich, Steve Smith, Richard Stastny, Aswath Rao, Chris Wood, and many others.  The genesis of these ideas were first written down in December 2003 in a business plan which VC’s told Howard and myself was "unfinanceable".  Perhaps the ideas were too early then.  Perhaps their time has come now.

Voice 2.0 is what happens when the web intersects telephony.  It’s an empowered, user-centric vision of the world.  Unlike todays walled garden telecom networks, it’s a world where users and applications are pre-eminent.  It’s an "all about me" world — my directory, my applications, my identity

I’ve posted the Voice 2.0 Manifesto on Iotum’s Simply Relevant blog.  I did this quite deliberately, because this is the world that Iotum wants to play in.  It’s the world where Iotum’s applications are most meaningful.  It’s the world where we can be most successful.

This small essay is intended to provoke discussion, so please go ahead — read, enjoy, critique. 

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