Speech Technology Magazine


IBM Announces Growing Developer Support for Multimodal Applications, X+V

NEW YORK, NY - IBM announced developer support for the XHTML + Voice (X+V) specification.
Posted Oct 1, 2002
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NEW YORK, NY - IBM announced developer support for the XHTML + Voice (X+V) specification as key speech industry players, including Motorola and Scansoft, expressed support for multimodal applications using X+V. And in his speech today at SpeechTEK, IBM pervasive computing executive William S. "Ozzie" Osborne reinforced the need for the industry to work together on one single standard for multimodal applications. Multimodal technology allows interchangeable, multiple forms of input and output including voice, keypad and stylus in a single interaction. For example, multimodal applications bring tremendous benefits to field force automation, allowing offsite workers to request inventory information by voice when they need their hands free on the factory floor, and have the information returned to them in text or graphics for customer convenience. The X+V specification comprises XHTML and VoiceXML, the most commonly used languages for Web and speech development, and was jointly submitted to the W3C by IBM, Opera and Motorola last year. "With one unified standard for multimodal interfaces, applications can be written once and used in different environments - including telephones and handheld devices," said Osborne. "We need to work toward one single standard for telephony, graphical interfaces and multimodal interaction. This will allow the large population of VoiceXML and XHTML developers worldwide to extend their solutions via multimodal technology, enabling more efficient development that brings new applications to market faster - using existing skills and resources." In addition to Motorola and Scansoft, independent solutions vendors including V-Enable, Tuvox, Kirusa, Vialto, Fonelet, RealSoft, wire-e and InfoSpace also announced that they will build multimodal platforms and applications using X+V. "As co-founder of the VoiceXML Forum, Motorola's vision is that X+V will enrich and simplify the way users interact with their world through their mobile phones," said Phil Gilchrist, vice president of global standards and technical asset management for Motorola's Personal Communications Sector. "By deploying X+V in their networks, cellular operators will put in place a significant market differentiator that supports the increased adoption of mobile data applications." "ScanSoft is committed to participating in the definition of open standards such as X+V to broaden the population of developers that can create multimodal applications," said Robert Weideman, chief marketing officer at ScanSoft. "We are pleased to join with other leading speech vendors, including IBM, to work within the framework of the W3C to quickly bring important innovations to customers and partners."
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