Position Paper for W3C/WAP Workshop on the Multimodal Web

VoiceXML - WAP Discussion Items

John Graff
Parlant Technology Inc
290 North University Avenue
Provo, Utah 84601
801.373.9669 x101

Background: Parlant Technology provides voice and web enabled servers for K-12 schools. This two-way communication (phone, letters, SMS, Web, WAP, e-mail) helps leverage family/community resources into the education process. We recently completed implementing a subset of VoiceXML and have extensive experience publishing multimodal content.

Discussion Items

Voice Messaging User Interface Forum (VMUIF)

Bellcore and the local service telephone companies began a Voice Messaging Group which produced a user interface specification in 1989. Members of this group joined with others in this industry to form larger, independent group (with wider representation) called the Voice Messaging User Interface Forum (VMUIF) which produced another voice mail standard in 1990.

VMUIF brought this activity to ANSI X3V1 in 1990, which began work on a voice messaging standards in its Text and Office Systems group (TG9). (Thus, even wider representation in the voice mail and information technology industries was brought to bear on this standards effort.)

In 1991, WG9 in JTC1 brought up a new work proposed to do voice mail work as well, at which point ANSI joined this work so that ANSI would have a single common standard with the international group. ANSI contributed their ongoing work to WG9 which was then progressed quickly in JTC1 so that ISO/IEC 13714 (and ANSI/ISO 13714) became an international standard in May 1996.

The voice mail standard gives specific recommendations on aspects of the telephone user interface, such as minimum response time, figures for inter-key time-outs, error handling and response to repeated time-outs. It specifies dial-ahead and dial-through behavior. Also specified is the details of the behavior of the # and * keys of the touch-tone keypad.

Standardized assignments of touch-tone keys to functions are specified for (a) the control menu, a series of functions which should be available from any system state (e.g. *0 for help), (b) call answering before and after the record tone, (c) the main menu of voice mail applications, (d) the menu for listening to and administering messages, and (e) sending a message, before and after the record tone. A series of key assignments and requirements are also specified for bulletin board systems.

From: http://www.acm.org/sigchi/bulletin/1997.4/standards.html