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VoiceXML: Introduction to Developing Speech Applications

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VoiceXML: Introduction to Developing Speech Applications


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  • Overview of technology—Including voice identification, touch-tone recognition, speech recognition, speech synthesis, and dialog management.
    • Enables students to review the new voice technology.

  • Human factors guidelines.
    • Gives students hints for developing good voice user interfaces.

  • Examples and exercises—Example of VoiceXML code to illustrate each major principle and exercises at the end of each chapter.
    • Enables students to learn the concepts of VoiceXML and to practice their new knowledge.

  • Overview of dialog styles—Describes a variety of dialog styles and how to implement each using VoiceDXL.
    • Instructs students with implementation hints and examples, enabling them to understand each style's impact and potential.

  • Supporting Web site—Contains example code, other Web site resources, list of course projects, lecture notes, chapter review questions, and answers to selected exercises for students. For instructors, exam questions and visuals for classroom presentations.
    • Allows students to review information and explore further into VoiceXML; gives instructors ideas for lectures and aids in exam preparation.


  • Copyright 2003
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/4"
  • Pages: 324
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-009262-2
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-009262-5

Yes, this is the most suitable book that I know of as a college textbook on this topic. If I were teaching a class on this topic, I would definitely select it as my textbook.

--Deborah A. Dahl, Speech Solutions, Unisys Corporation

VoiceXML excels at introducing the process of developing speech-enabled applications. With advice including how to phrase a prompt, how to specify grammar for recognizing the caller's response to a prompt, and what to do if the caller does not respond appropriately, this text answers fundamental speech user-interface questions. Jim Larson's book is well suited as a college textbook for students and a trade book for professionals developing speech applications.


  • Gain skills required to develop speech applications
  • Apply practical steps for developing user-friendly speech applications
  • Learn basic strategies for interacting with a computer by talking and listening, rather than typing and reading
  • Understand basic issues and apply pragmatic solutions for developing speech applications

  • Summary of key concepts listed at the end of each chapter
  • State-of-the-art review of key speech technologies
  • Review of alternative dialog styles and how to implement them using VoiceXML
  • Human-factors guidelines for constructing speech user interfaces with examples of their application
  • Author website containing VoiceXML code for each example, review questions for each chapter, available VoiceXML interpreters, grammars, and VoiceXML Web sites at http://www.larson-tech.com


Dr. James A. Larson chairs the World Wide Web Consortium's Voice Browser Working Group, which is developing language standards for speech applications, including VoiceXML 2.0, Speech Recognition Grammar, and Speech Synthesis Markup Languages. Dr. Larson also works for Intel and is an adjunct professor for Portland State University and Oregon Health Sciences University/Oregon Graduate Institute where he teaches courses on speech application development. Author of many technical papers on user interfaces, Dr. Larson currently writes a column for Speech Technology Magazine and is a speech applications consultant for Larson Technical Services.

Sample Content

Table of Contents

(NOTE: Each chapter ends with Key Concepts and Exercises and Projects.)


 1. Why Develop Speech Applications for the Telephone?

 2. How Speech Applications Work.

 3. Technologies for Speech Applications.

 4. Creating Speech Applications.

 5. Introduction to VoiceXML.

 6. Make the Computer Talk.

 7. Make the Computer Listen.

 8. Application-Directed Styles and Dialog Documents.

 9. User-Directed Styles and Dialog Documents.

10. Mixed-Initiative Dialogs.

11. Testing - Tuning and Monitoring.

12. Development Tools and Reusability.

13. Multimedia Dialogs.

Appendix A: Ajax Fast Foods Case Study.

Appendix B: The W3C Speech Interface Framework.


Glossary of Terms.



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