Home > Articles > Networking > Wireless/High Speed/Optical

  • Print
  • + Share This
From the author of

Conversing Through Voice Portals

With a voice portal, voice applications can be built to give subscribers verbal access to address books, phone lists, mail, stock quotes, and service information. The voice portal can also place and direct phone calls.

Voice portal applications can be written fairly easily in VoiceXML. With this markup language, your application makes use of special intermediate software that runs on a voice gateway. The voice gateway handles both speech recognition that understands basic commands or complete sentences and voice synthesis—sometimes called text to speech (TTS). Voice synthesis can be augmented with voice talent recordings. The implementations can be pricey, but they're justified in large-scale projects such as call centers. Smaller developers can build voice applications by working with select vendors.

The VoiceXML conversational application is structured as a voice interface to a dialogue. There are three main items to consider: prompts, grammars, and dialogues. A prompt is an audio message you have the system play. A grammar comprises the words or phrases spoken by users in response to the prompt that the voice portal listens for. The dialogue controls which prompts are played, which grammars are active at any given point, and the overall conversation flow. Some very useful and freely available tools such as Nuance V-Builder let developers convert HTML pages in a drag-and-drop manner to become sequential dialogues.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account