VoiceXML Forum Releases Preliminary Specification, More Than Triples Membership

PISCATAWAY, N.J., Aug. 25, 1999 — The Voice eXtensible Markup Language (VoiceXML) Forum has released its preliminary specification for VoiceXML, the new markup language that is expected to expand the reach of the Internet through voice access to Web content and services. Since its launch in March 1999 as the VXML Forum, the group has more than tripled in size by adding 44 leading technology industry players to its membership roster.

The VoiceXML specification introduces a markup language for voice applications based on eXtensible Markup Language (XML), an emerging technology that is expected to revolutionize the Internet industry. The VoiceXML Forum aims to drive the market for voice-enabled Internet services through the creation of a common specification based on existing Internet standards.

The VoiceXML specification is expected to simplify creation and delivery of Web-based, personalized interactive voice-response services and enable phone and voice access to integrated call center databases, information on Web sites, and company intranets. The VoiceXML specification also will help enable new voice-capable devices and appliances.

Joining the 17 original Forum supporters endorsing the standardization effort are 44 companies including: @Motion, Inc., 1 to 1 Communications, 4th Peripheral Technologies, Applied Speech Technologies, Arabesque Communications, Inc., Array Systems Computing, Berst-Tech, Conversa, Cycad (Singapore) PTE, Ltd., DonnyWorld, Inc., Elan Informatique, EncoTone Ltd., Entropic Incorporated, Ericsson, Fletcher’s Communications PL, France Telecom, Interprise Ventures, ITX Networks, Inc., KRON Networks, Living Systems AG, Locus Dialogue, MCS Corporation, Mediagate, Inc., Metro Link Incorporated, Mitel, Net By Phone, Novell, Parlant, PassCall Advanced Technologies Ltd., Qualcomm Incorporated, ReadyCom, Inc., Sage Health Management Solutions, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., Scotty’s Home Market, Siemens, SpeakLink.com, Speech Recognition Consultant, Speech Solutions, Sprint PCS, Sun Microsystems, TouchNet Information Systems, Inc., Vox2, Inc., Voxware, Inc., and Wildfire Communications, Inc.

Also, IBM joins AT&T, Lucent Technologies and Motorola as a promoter of the Forum and is contributing its Speech Markup Language technology.

Forum supporters were recently provided with the initial specification, which is now available to the public on the Forum’s Web site. After incorporating comments and contributions, the VoiceXML Forum plans to release version 1.0 of its specification to an appropriate standards body for consideration later this year. Meanwhile, the Forum is inviting participation by other companies that wish to support the Forum’s objective of expanding Web access through telephones and other devices using both speech and ordinary touchtone-type user interfaces.

AT&T, Lucent and Motorola have contributed their respective phone and voice markup languages to help the Forum create an open specification leveraging the best of these technologies. IBM’s Speech Markup Language technology gives the Forum and its specification additional technical strength and the benefit of IBM’s experience in this area.

The Forum changed its name to better emphasize its goal of bringing voice access to the Web. More information about the VoiceXML Forum is available on its Web site: http://www.voicexml.org or by email at info@voicexml.org.

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