Voice Web Services and Colligo Announce Voice Books; Voice Web Community
This month, those who are blind and visually impaired will gain access by telephone to three classics - The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan of the Apes and The Red Badge of Courage through new text-to-speech playback technology developed by Voice Web Services of Seattle, and made available in VoiceBooks by Colligo Corporation of Bellingham, Washington. "Innovations of this nature that use readily available technology to improve access to the written word, provide knowledge, freedom and power. Without these basic rights, the ability to self advocate becomes very difficult, therefore hindering independence," said Dr. Dean Stenehjem, Superintendent of the Washington State School for the Blind. The voice navigation technology, called VANGARD (Voice Activated Navigational Guide for Any Readable Document), has been in development for the past two years. However, through new advances in VoiceXML technology, the speech industry standard, it has not been made publicly available until now. "VANGARD and VoiceBooks allow access to information that until now has been available only to the sighted," states Doug Powles, President of Colligo Corp. VANGARD allows callers to navigate through the entirety of each book or any document by saying voice commands such as "next paragraph," "jump back, " or "table of contents." Voice commands such as "spell that," gives the spelling of words, and "where am I?," tells them where they are in the book. Also, at any point the user may pause the playback or "bookmark" where they left off. One of VANGARD's primary advantages is that it empowers users to read and navigate both emails and email attachments via the telephone, providing a technology solution for companies who provide voice-activated email. Until now, users were not able to navigate within the body of an email message, nor were they able to easily hear document attachments. Often they are forced to listen through an entire message without the ability to navigate. "It's as simple as dialing and speaking. It's a smart, intuitive and mobile solution that enables speech access to any type of document through simple voice commands," said Brian Graham, president of Voice Web Services.
Announcing the Voice Web Community
Voice Web Services, a voice services tools provider, releases Voice Web Community, a place where Voice Web professionals and enthusiasts can share discoveries and insights in the industry. Voice Web Community is comprised of a directory of organizations and companies developing voice products, project postings, a career center, and a place to discuss Voice Web related topics. "A Web site like this did not exist until now. With so much confusion about what the Voice Web really is, we wanted to create a place to clear things up," said Brian Ty Graham, President of Voice Web Services, whose VANGARD product enables applications to listen to text and navigate textual information by voice commands and their VoiceXML Studio is a complete Java desktop solution for building voice applications using VoiceXML. "We've combined our resources and knowledge about the Voice Web industry and made it easy for those wanting to learn about this wonderful medium," Graham said.