Opera gives voice to Web browser

Opera Software ASA will include voice capabilities in its updated browser software, using IBM Corp.'s embedded ViaVoice technology, it said Tuesday.

The upgraded browser, which will continue to be offered at no cost, will be available later this year, Opera in Oslo, Norway, said. Initially, it will offer support for ViaVoice in English only, but other languages may be developed in due course, Opera Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jon von Tetzchner said.

Voice capabilities could well become the preferred way of interacting with a computer, according to von Tetzchner. While it is obviously useful for people with disabilities, it will also be popular with many other users who prefer voice to using a keyboard and mouse, he said.

For the voice technology to work well, a Web page has to be created using X+V (XHTML+V, or Extensible Hypertext Markup Language and Voice), a standard for browsers in small and mobile devices backed by Opera, IBM and Motorola Inc. The X+V standard has been developed by the VoiceXML Forum, which received recommendation status from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) last week for its VoiceXML version 2.0 software standard.

The X+V standard competes with the SALT (Speech Application Language Tags) standard being pushed by Microsoft Corp., von Tetzchner said. SALT is used in Microsoft's Speech Server products, due to launch this week.

Asked whether X+V will gain support from developers who mainly design pages for Microsoft's Internet Explorer, by far the dominant browser software, von Tetzchner said he is confident that "we can drive things too."

"We get feedback from people saying they think (the voice-enabled browser) is great, and it's just another feature that sets Opera apart," he said. Eventually, von Tetzchner expects embedded voice to be used in devices such as in-car technology and cell phones.

One other possible use for voice is in presentations; speakers using Opera's Opera Show presentation software can simply tell the software to move to the next slide, rather than having to walk over to the keyboard and press 'Page down,' Opera said.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Gillian Law

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?