Voice group to open development platform

An industry group working on voice-enabled Internet and corporate applications will officially launch on Monday a development platform including tools and interfaces needed for software incorporating speech technology.

The group, called the V-Commerce ("v" is for voice) Alliance, will make its Open Voice Framework, or V-Framework, available at http://www.v-commerce.com as of Monday, said Steve Ehrlich, marketing vice president of Nuance Communications, a founding member of the alliance.

As part of the announcement, Nuance will open the source code for its Foundation SpeechObjects software, Ehrlich said yesterday.

The alliance also is starting a certification program for applications aimed at bringing voice technology to e-commerce, he said.

As for the new platform, it will allow developers to use common environments and languages running on Windows NT and Unix operating systems and using any speech recognition or verification engine in any "major" spoken language, Ehrlich said.

The platform will not be offered for Linux, though Ehrlich said that if speech vendors clamour for a Linux version, he's certain it would be offered.

Right now, many vendors are using proprietary software and development platforms to create speech-enabled software for e-commerce and corporate applications, and that approach is serving to stymie more rapid development, Ehrlich said.

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