ScanSoft Launches Industry-Wide Open Speech Initiative

PEABODY, Mass. - ScanSoft, Inc. launched an industry-backed initiative to enable interoperability among speech applications and tools, leveraging existing industry standards such as VoiceXML and CCXML. The first contribution to this effort is xHMI (Extensible Human Machine Interface), an XML-based dialog configuration language for advanced speech applications. The initiative is supported by a broad range of platform, tools and applications vendors, as well as integrators, including Apptera, Audium, Convergys Corporation, Dimension Data, Edify, Envox Worldwide, Fluency, Gold Systems, Holly Australia, iTa, Interactive Northwest, Primas, SOFTEL Communications Inc., TuVox, Unisys, Unveil Technologies Inc., Vicorp, Viecore, VoiceGenie, Voxify, and West Corporation.

xHMI addresses the need for a common approach to control the behavior of dialog nodes in a speech application. By describing an application in an open format, xHMI decouples applications from the tool environments used to build them, enabling customers to independently select their choice of tools and runtime environments to develop, configure, extend, run and manage these applications.

"xHMI is a much needed software layer that supports more efficient application development and deployment involving a multiplicity of IT staff members, third-party integrators and application developers," said Dan Miller, senior analyst at Opus Research, a San Francisco-based consultancy. "The name of the game is to leverage existing assets, personnel and development tools. xHMI does so while promoting self-sufficiency, application portability and cost control."

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