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Comment on the Nuance SpeechObjects submission

W3C is pleased to receive the SpeechObjects submission from Nuance Communications.

W3C is working to expand access to the Web to allow people to interact with Web sites via spoken commands, and listening to prerecorded speech, music and synthetic speech. The W3C Voice Browser Activity has produced a set of requirements for interactive voice response applications and is now developing a set of specifications that meet these requirements.

SpeechObjects are reusable software components that encapsulate discrete pieces of conversational dialog. SpeechObjects are based on an open architecture that can be deployed on any of the major server and IVR (interactive voice response) platforms. The submission describes a specification based on Nuance's Java implementation of SpeechObjects.

Simply stated, a SpeechObject is a reusable software component that implements a dialog flow and is packaged with the audio prompts and recognition grammars that support that dialog.

Next Steps

The W3C Voice Browser Working Group plans to develop specifications for its Speech Interface Framework using SpeechObjects as a model for work on reusable dialog components. This work is already underway, following the publication of a requirements draft for reusable dialog components. A specification meeting these requirements is under development, with the goal of being used together with W3C's dialog markup language. It is recommended that the Nuance Communications SpeechObjects submission is carefully examined in the context of this work.

W3C is currently hosting a mailing list to discuss requirements and specifications for voice browsers. Details of how to subscribe, the mail archive, and pointers to public drafts are given on the W3C Voice Browser page.

Disclaimer: Placing a Submission on a Working Group/Interest Group agenda does not imply endorsement by either the W3C Staff or the participants of the Working Group/Interest Group, nor does it guarantee that the Working Group/Interest Group will agree to take any specific action on a Submission.

Dave Raggett, W3C lead for Voice Browser Activity <dsr@w3.org>