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SALT Profile for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)

SALT Forum Advances Mobile Content Delivery with Enhancements to Scalable Vector Graphics Specification

New Proposal Paves the Way for Speech Applications on Portable Devices

Boston, MA, USA. June 24, 2003.

The SALT Forum, a group of companies with a shared goal of accelerating the use of speech technologies in multimodal and telephony systems, today announced that it has published a SALT profile for the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) markup language. The new SVG profile supplements the SALT 1.0 specification, which was contributed to the W3C by the SALT Forum and already included profiles for use with the XHTML and SMIL specifications. SVG is an XML-based language for describing advanced graphics that enables developers to deliver a visually rich user interaction experience in their Web applications. By adding SALT to SVG, developers can further enhance the user experience with interactive spoken interfaces coupled directly to the visual interface.

The SVG specification has gained considerable support since its release by the W3C, capturing the attention of leading Web developers. Its ability to render high-quality graphics on displays of varying size and resolution, along with a lightweight design that reduces computational requirements, has made it particularly attractive to manufacturers of cell phones, PDAs and other portable devices. SVG with SALT provides the means to build sophisticated mobile applications for these devices with easy-to-use speech interfaces that are accessible without looking at or touching the equipment. SVG with SALT can be used to provide speech "hot spots" within a graphic or provide spoken commands for scrolling and zooming the display. It can also be used to embed descriptive services for the visually impaired directly within a graphic, streamlining the workflow process.

"SALT seamlessly adds new speech capabilities to the versatility of SVG that enhance its capacity to make Web applications more powerful and easier to develop," said Antoine Quint, SVG consultant for Fuchsia Design and co-author of the SVG specification. "Graphics and speech play complementary roles in making information readily accessible no matter what the situation may be."

The SALT specification was designed to add speech input, speech output and call control capabilities to practically any XML-based language. The SALT profile for SVG demonstrates the potential of this flexible and platform-independent approach for responding to technology advances that support improved content delivery.

"The SALT profile for SVG is an example of the exciting industry developments now underway to realize the full potential of SALT," said Glen Shires, chairperson of the SALT Forum's Technical Working Group. "The SALT Forum continues to take an active role in refining, enhancing and supporting the SALT 1.0 specification as an open industry initiative."

Mr. Shires, Principal Engineer of Application Enabling Software for Intel's Network Processing Group, was recently elected by Forum members to lead the activities of the Technical Working Group, which included development of the SALT profile for SVG. Mr. Shires co-authored much of the SALT 1.0 specification and is active in multiple W3C working groups. He holds several patents and has a distinguished history in the technology industry.

The SALT profile for SVG can be obtained from the SALT Forum's web site at

About the SALT Forum

The SALT Forum brings together a diverse group of companies sharing a common interest in developing and promoting speech technologies for multimodal and telephony applications. Founded in 2001 and representing over 70 technology leaders, the SALT Forum seeks to establish and promote a royalty-free standard that provides spoken access to many forms of content through a wide variety of devices. In pursuit of these goals, Version 1.0 of the SALT specification, which augments existing Web markup languages, was developed by Forum members and contributed to the World Wide Web Consortium. Membership in the SALT Forum is open to all. Additional information on the SALT Forum is available at


Greenough Communications
Tracy Sullivan
Tel: +1 617/275-6518

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive. See: (1) "W3C Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)"; (2) "Speech Application Language Tags (SALT)."

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