W3C User Interface Domain

"Voice Browsers"

W3C Workshop: Call for Participation

Tuesday 13th October 1998
The Sheraton Commander Hotel, Cambridge, Massachussets

Registration | Organization | Venue | Hotel Information | Papers | Agenda | Minutes

All participants must fill in the registration form! We have space for up to 70 participants. Registrations will be closed on October 6th 1998.

You are recommended to book your hotel room as soon as possible as this is a busy time of year in the Boston area.

Workshop Scope

In the world today, far more people have access to a telephone than have access to a computer with an Internet connection. Voice browsers offer the promise of allowing people to access the Web from any telephone, vastly increasing the number of people who can use Web sites.

Voice browsers allow people to access the Web using speech synthesis, pre-recorded audio, and speech recognition. This can be supplemented by keypads and small displays. Voice may also be offered as an adjunct to conventional desktop browsers with high resolution graphical displays, providing an accessible alternative to using the keyboard or screen, for instance in automobiles where hands/eyes free operation is essential. Voice interaction can escape the physical limitations on keypads and displays as devices become ever smaller.

Hitherto, speech recognition and spoken language technologies have had for the most part to be handcrafted into applications. The Web offers the potential to vastly expand the opportunities for voice-based applications. The Web page provides the means to scope the dialog with the user, limiting interaction to navigating the page, traversing links and filling in forms.

Information supplied by authors can increase the robustness of speech recognition and the quality of speech synthesis. Text to speech can be combined with pre-recorded audio material in an analogous manner to the use of images in visual media, drawing upon the rich experience with radio. The lessons learned in designing for accessibility can be applied to the broader voice browsing marketplace.

The World Wide Web consortium invites people interested in voice browsers to participate in a one day workshop to be held at the Sheraton Commander Hotel in Cambridge Mass. on 13th October 1998.

Position Papers

Participants are expected to provide position papers to guide us in setting the agenda. The papers will be made available on the Web in advance of the workshop.

Suggested Topics

Some of the features needed for voice browsers are introduced in a W3C note by Dave Raggett and Or Ben-Natan.

Expected audience

These are some of the people who may be able to contribute:

Criteria for success

The Workshop will be used to determine opportunities for W3C to help catalyze the development of voice browsing for the Web via extensions to HTML and CSS, and the use of new formats for robust speech recognition and high quality speech synthesis. One possible outcome is the formation of a new Voice Browser Interest Group within W3C.

Deliverables to be produced:

Information To Contributors

There will be a limit of 70 participants. There is no registration fee for W3C members. Others are required to pay a fee of $250 to help cover W3C's costs in running the workshop. Registration is now closed as we have reached the limit of the facilities available to us.

If you would like to attend the workshop, please fill out the registration form before October 6th, 1998. Registration is required!

Position paper are welcomed, preferably around 1 to 5 pages. Please indicate whether you are willing to present. The position papers are intended to create a basis for the discussion at the workshop. The program Committee will select the most relevant papers for presentation at the workshop. Position papers should be sent via email to the chair. Allowed formats for submissions are a URL to the position paper, HTML, and ASCII.

Workshop Organization

W3C contact and workshop chair:

Dave Raggett (W3C/HP)

email: dsr@w3.org
tel.: +44 122 578 2521
address: 73b Ground Corner, Holt,
Wiltshire BA14 6RT, United Kingdom

W3C Meeting Planner:

Susan Hardy (W3C)

email: susan@w3.org
tel.: +1 617 253 2613
address: World Wide Web Consortium 545 Technology Square, Cambridge MA 02139, United States of America

Program Committee:

Others are welcome! (contact the chairs)


Continental Breakfast at 8:30 am. Meeting begins at 9 am and ends 5pm, lunch included. Note that you will need to make your own hotel reservation. A discount room rate has been organized for this meeting.

The Sheraton Commander Hotel
16 Garden Street, Harvard Square
Cambridge, MA 02138

Special Hotel Rates at Sheraton Commander Hotel

Discount Rate Cut-off Date:  Friday, September 21, 1998 by 5:00 pm EST
Meeting Code: MIT - World Wide Web Consortium

Telephone: 617-547-4800
Fax: 617-868-9322
Rate: $220 + 12.45% tax

Alternative Local Area Hotels:

SPECIAL NOTE: Please make reservations as soon as possible. Hotel availablity in Boston during the month of October is scarce.

Hyatt Regency Cambridge
575 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139
Peak season rates starting at $200
About 15-20 minutes to meeting site depending on traffic.

Royal Sonesta
5 Cambridge Parkway
Cambridge, MA 02142
About 15-20 minutes to meeting site depending on traffic.

Resource Statement

W3C Resource Commitment

Running the workshop involves W3C staff spending time to set up the venue, the call for participation, the registration procedure, reviewing papers, making them available on the W3C website, emailing acknowledgements and chairing the meeting. Our goal is to do this with the minimum resources necessary.

Over the period of six weeks, this activity will consume 10% of the time of one W3C staff member for chairing the workshop, 10% of the time of one W3C staff member to handle local organization, 5% of the time of one W3C staff member for managing the workshop website, and 2% of five staff members for coordinating with W3C current activities. The workshop falls under the W3C User Interface domain.