Why Multimodal Interaction?
Multimodal interaction offers significant ease of use benefits
over uni-modal interaction, for instance, when hands-free
operation is needed, for mobile devices with limited keyboards,
and for controlling other devices when a traditional desktop
computer is unavailable to host the application user interface.
This is being driven by advances in embedded and network-based
speech processing that are creating opportunities for integrated
multimodal Web browsers and for solutions that separate the
handling of visual and aural modalities, for example, by coupling
a local HTML5 user agent with a remote speech service.
The goal of the Multimodal Interaction Working Group is to
provide standards that will enable interaction using a wide
variety of modalities. These modalities include both those
currently available, such as touch, keyboard and speech, as well
as emerging modalities such as handwriting, camera, and
accelerometers.. Because of the ever-expanding set of interaction
modalities, the group has focused on a generic architecture that
defines communication between modality components and an
interaction manager, based on standard life cycle events. This
architecture is described in the Multimodal Architecture
and Interfaces specification. The group is now launching a
complementary work item to address the areas of registration and
discovery of MMI Architecture components.
The details of the interpretation of user input captured by the
various modalities and sent to the Interaction Manager are
expressed using the Extensible
Multi-Modal Annotation (EMMA) specification. The Working
Group is also working to address the underlying representation of
two basic forms of user input-- ink and emotion, because there
were no existing standards for these forms of input. The Ink Markup Language
(InkML) standard describes how ink and gesture inputs can be
represented in XML, and the Emotion Markup Language
specification describes an XML representation for emotion.
The work of the Multimodal Interaction Working Group is
applicable to a wide variety of types of interactions -- not only
interactions with the traditional desktop browser and keyboard,
but also in mobile contexts. In addition, the work also applies to
use cases where the devices involved, such as household
appliances, automobiles, or televisions, have very diverse forms
of displays and input controls.
The Working Group is chartered through 31 July 2013 under the
terms of the W3C
Patent Policy (5 February 2004 Version). To promote the
widest adoption of Web standards, W3C seeks to issue
Recommendations that can be implemented, according to this policy,
on a Royalty-Free basis.
The Working Group is chaired by Deborah Dahl.
The W3C Team Contact is Kazuyuki
We want to hear from you!
We are very interested in your comments and suggestions. If you
have implemented multimodal interfaces, please share your
experiences with us, as we are particularly interested in reports
on implementations and their usability for both end-users and
application developers. We welcome comments on any of our
published documents on our public mailing list archive.
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