A new World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) project could lead to the incorporation of voice recognition and speech synthesis interfaces within Web pages. AT&T, Google, Microsoft, and the Mozilla Foundation all have engineers participating in the project.
The W3C's HTML Speech Incubator Group is studying the feasibility of developing a standard Web interface for both speech recognition and synthesis, says group chair Dan Burnett. Such an interface would allow browsers to read pages aloud or let users audibly fill out Web forms. The group will issue a report in a year summarizing its findings, but Burnett notes that developing the actual interfaces would be overseen by the W3C's HTML Working Group.
The W3C also is working on related voice and speech technologies. For example, it recently released version 3.0 of VoiceXML, which is primarily designed for voice-driven applications, and version 1.1 of the Speech Synthesis Markup Language, which will incorporate Asian languages.
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