New Standards Confirmed for Voice-driven Web Applications

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W3C Standardizes New Features for VoiceXML, Smarter Speech Recognition

Testimonials -- 19 June 2007 --W3C published standards today that enhance the capabilities and interoperability of voice browsers and speech recognition systems. The W3C Voice Browser Working Group has completed work on both VoiceXML 2.1 and Semantic Interpretation for Speech Recognition (SISR) 1.0, two critical pieces of W3C's Speech Interface Framework. Testimonials from companies and organizations demonstrate strong support for the new standards.

VoiceXML 2.1 Standarizes Industry Interoperability Practices

VoiceXML 2.1 extends the widely used VoiceXML 2.0 dialog language to include commonly implemented features. These features include dynamic references to grammars and scripts, detecting when during a prompt the user barges-in, and processing multiple sets of data from the server in a single access. All VoiceXML 2.0 applications will work under VoiceXML 2.1 without modification, allowing for significant interoperability.

SISR Improves Voice to Mark-up Conversion

Semantic Interpretation for Speech Recognition (SISR 1.0) enables developers to extract and translate textual representations of words recognized by a speech recognition system and structure the results into a format convenient for processing by the speech application. For example, with SISR, one could specify the instructions for converting the spoken sentence "I want to fly from Los Angeles to Seattle." to a data structure containing "departure: LAX" and "destination: SEA" .

Speech Interface Framework Built by International Leaders in Research and Industry

W3C's Voice Browser Working Group includes leaders in telephony and Web applications development, including Aspect Communications; Chinese Academy of Sciences; Comverse Technology; Deutsche Telecom AG; France Telecom; Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories; HP; IBM; iFLYTEK; IWA-HWG; Intervoice; Korea Association of Information and Telecommunication; Loquendo S.p.A.; Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.; MITRE Corporation; Nuance Communications; Openwave Systems Inc.; SandCherry, Inc.; Toshiba Corporation; Voxeo Corporation; and Voxpilot Ltd.

The W3C Speech Interface Framework includes the completed standards VoiceXML 2.1, SISR 1.0, Speech Recognition Grammar Specification (SRGS 1.0), and Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML 1.0). W3C anticipates that the next pieces of the Speech Interface Framework to become W3C Recommendations are CCXML, Pronunciation Lexicon Specification (PLS 1.0) and SSML 1.1. The Voice Browser Working Group is also developing State Chart XML (SCXML) and VoiceXML 3.0.

About the World Wide Web Consortium [W3C]

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines designed to ensure long-term growth for the Web. Over 400 organizations are Members of the Consortium. W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France and Keio University in Japan,and has additional Offices worldwide. For more information see


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Testimonials for VoiceXML 2.1 and SISR 1.0 Recommendations

Aspect Software | Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc. | Loquendo | Nuance Communications | VoiceXML Forum | Voxeo Corporation | Voxpilot Ltd.

Aspect Software

VoiceXML is a key component of the Aspect Software vision for a standards-based contact center. The VoiceXML 2.1 specification adds functionality and flexibility to the VoiceXML programming model and brings us closer to making a standards-based contact center a reality for the industry.

-- Jim Barnett, Senior Technical Director, Aspect Software

Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc.

Genesys congratulates the W3C on releasing the VoiceXML 2.1specification and will do our best to drive its adoption. VoiceXML 2.1 is a significant milestone in establishing a stable and mature standard that enables businesses to deliver a much richer user experience.Genesys is committed to open, standards-based contact center solutions and is very pleased to contribute to the development of this specification. As the world leader in open standards-based voice platforms, Genesys fully supports the work of the W3C and the VoiceXMLForum and looks forward to continuing its support of future advances in VoiceXML.

-- Max Ball, Director of Product Management, Genesys Telecommunications Laboratories, Inc.


As an active participant in W3C, Loquendo firmly believes that the VoiceXML 2.1 and SISR 1.0 recommendations are essential steps forward for advancing speech applications, allowing simple and rapid upgrades, increasing portability and accelerating speech technology take-up across the globe. VoiceXML 2.1 builds on the widely adopted VoiceXML 2.0, the industry telephony standard, and enables the creation of more powerful voice applications. SISR 1.0 completes SRGS 1.0 speech grammars by providing a standard format for producing, integrating and validating ASR results. As a leading player in speech technology and voice platforms, Loquendo is proud to give its full and continued support to the promotion ofstandards' support.

-- Daniele Sereno, Vice President Product Engineering, Loquendo

Nuance Communications

Continuing our eight-year leadership role within W3C speech standards, Nuance is committed to the advancement and support of open standards such as VoiceXML 2.1 and SISR 1.0. We believe open speech standards will spur the creation of innovative and effective new speech applications and accelerate the adoption of speech technologies worldwide. These standards enable us to offer flexibility and choice to our customers, enabling them to migrate applications to different architectures much more easily and cost efficiently.”

-- Peter Mahoney, Vice President, Worldwide Marketing, Nuance Communications

VoiceXML Forum

We applaud the W3C’s completion of the VoiceXML 2.1 and SISR 1.0 standards. In support of this milestone, the VoiceXML Forum is launching an updated platform certification program that will include support for VoiceXML 2.1, SISR 1.0 and other key features of the W3C Speech Interface Framework. We encourage all platform vendors to submit their platforms for certification.

-- Ken Rehor, Chair, VoiceXML Forum Conformance Committee

Voxeo Corporation

Voxeo has already fully implemented VoiceXML 2.1 and SISR 1.0 across both our hosted services and our on-premise system offerings, giving enterprises the broadest possible range of standards-based deployment options. Along with VoiceXML 2.0 and CCXML 1.0, these new W3C standards are freely available to our 25,000 XML-telephony developers in 130 countries who are using Voxeo platforms to build innovative applications for the phone. This demonstrates that the W3C’s laudable efforts to establish open standards for phone applications have successfully brought a web model of innovation to the telecom industry.

-- R.J. Auburn, Chief Technology Officer, Voxeo Corporation

Voxpilot Ltd.

It is a great benefit to our industry that the VoiceXML 2.1 and SISR 1.0 specifications have reached W3C Recommendation status and Voxpilot congratulates the W3C Voice Browser Group on their excellent work. VoiceXML 2.1 expands interoperability and flexibility as it standardizes powerful capabilities that have proven indispensable in production deployments since VoiceXML 2.0. SISR 1.0 represents an essential component of this framework promoting full interoperability across multiple layers. Voxpilot has implemented these specifications as part of their Open Media Platform 3.1, an IMS-readyVoiceXML/CCXML platform with advanced voice and video capabilities, deployed in multiple networks throughout the world.

-- Andrew Fuller, Chief Technology Officer, Voxpilot Ltd.

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