W3C extends voice through browsers

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that sets and advances the standards for the web has developed a new version of Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML). The new version offers language extensions to a number of Asian languages but also takes the first steps towards offering speech verification over the Internet.

The demand for increased security and the growth of VoIP services has meant there is now a demand for speech verification systems through browsers.

A number of companies have come up with ad hoc systems, but the W3C has decided to produce a common set of biometric standards that can be used by anyone. The Voice Browser Working Group has already identified the features necessary and is now turning them into practical reality.

Anyone who wants to get involved in the development of SSML can visit the Voice Browser group.

While these attributes are critical, additional attributes may be even more important to specific languages. The WC3 gives the example of Mandarin Chinese. It is the world’s most widely spoken language with around one billion speakers – beating English by some distance.

Plans to include extensions for Japanese, Korean and other languages will ensure a fuller participation is possible of the world on the Web, especially as Asia continues to grow in economic influence in the 21st Century.

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