Speech Technology Magazine Cover

January/February 2005

Magazine Features

Baselining: Making the Case for New or Upgraded Speech Applications

New applications based on speech are redefining how enterprises deliver support to their employees and customers. Speech applications are moving quickly into the mainstream, with numerous applications identified for business process automation.

Speech Technology: Science Fiction Gives Way to Real Value

Those working in developing basic speech technology have sometimes noted the fundamental nature of speaking and listening in human activity. Automating that capability should provide significant value in reducing costs and improving productivity for individuals and companies. The value for customers will automatically drive opportunities for vendors. The problem with this vision is that it leads to a science-fiction view of speech technology. How often have writers compared some speech product to HAL in the movie…

Ten Guidelines for Designing a Successful Voice User Interface

At SpeechTEK 2004, a group of leading VUI designers attended the Voice User Interface (VUI) workshop directed by Dr. James A. Larson. Taking the lead for an article on the best practices in VUI, Dr. Larson collected and coordinated this team of VUI specialists to compile the Ten Guidelines for Designing a Successful Voice User Interface. Speech Technology Magazine would like to thank the authors for their contributions to this article and Dr. Larson for…

Usability Scorecard

The fourth and final in a series of interactive columns by Edwin Margulies.


E-Pay Leader Expands Consumer Options while Controlling Biller Costs with VoiceXML

Fort Knox National Company (Fort Knox) processes nearly 20 billion dollars in payments annually for more than 700 companies, including some of the top utility, mortgage, insurance, and consumer finance billers in the United Sates. As a leading provider of single-source electronic payment solutions, Fort Knox has been at the forefront of innovations in the payments industry for nearly 20 years. Its TruePay™ payment platform is an example of the company putting innovation to work…

Vodafone Australia Moves Prepaid into the Speech Realm

Whether stepping onto a bus or off the Metro, there is one item that never fails to be in use - a cell phone or similar device. People around the world use cell phones, personal digital assistant (PDA) computers and other handheld devices to communicate using speech. It has been estimated that 115 to 157 million mobile phone units were sold around the globe in the second quarter of 2004. PDA computers came in at…


Editor's Letter

Speech in 2005

Welcome to the largest edition of STM we have ever produced! As speech continues its expansion as a strategic technology offering by more and more companies, STM compliments that growth by providing content dedicated to improving speech.

Forward Thinking

Pragmatic Creativity

I have for a long time considered customers amazingly creative in their approaches to speech deployments. Maybe it's because early in my career I was a customer myself. I, therefore, know from personal experience that creativity comes from the need to tackle demanding problems whose solutions are constrained by set requirements. It's a survival technique that I like to call pragmatic creativity.

State-of-the-Art Speech Application Development

Writing speech applications with preparatory languages used to be difficult. The W3C speech framework languages (VoiceXML 2.0 and 2.1 for specifying dialogues, SRGS for specifying grammars, SSML for specifying how to render text as voice, and CCXML for specifying call management) have greatly simplified speech applications development by providing standard, portable languages for a growing speech application development community.

Human Factor

The Impotence of Being Earnest

Famous Last Words<@SM>Have you ever dialed a company, had your call answered and then heard something like this? <@SM><@SM>"Thank you for calling ACME Corporation. Your call is very important to us…." <@SM><@SM>How about this? <@SM><@SM>"In order to ensure the most efficient resolution to your problem, you can always visit us at our easy-to-use Web site 24 hours a day at double-u double-u double-u dot ACME dot com." …

Industry View

CAN U W8 for Multimodal: SMS and Clunky Heuristics

We all take the browser on our computer for granted. As I write this, my co-worker is watching the new (scary, animated, dark) Eminem video on her IE with a QuickTime helper. Lately, I've been looking at another form of browser, not really designed as a browser, indeed, not even capable of interpreting markup language: SMS. That stands for Short Message Service and is the ubiquitous text.

A View from AVIOS

Successful Applications Are the Combination of Technology and Craft

A designer needs to create a user interface (UI) that makes up for deficiencies in technology, and needs to stretch technology to make an application usable. This is especially important in applications that use barge-in. In ways, barge-in provides a metaphor for many of the issues we encounter in designing an application. …

Voice Value

The Case for Augmented Speech

From making airline reservations to confirming postage rates, consumers are increasing their acceptance of applications that utilize synthesized speech. While the public can be unforgiving when it comes to the naturalness of synthesized speech, demanding that speech applications sound as human as possible, could they be identifying preferences based on incomplete information?

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