Cisco, Comverse, Intel, Microsoft, Philips, and SpeechWorks have created the SALT Forum as a joint initiative for the development of 'Speech Application Language Tags' to be embedded in other markup languages. The group has announced its commitment "to develop a royalty-free, platform-independent standard that will make possible multimodal and telephony-enabled access to information, applications and Web services from PCs, telephones, tablet PCs and wireless personal digital assistants (PDAs). SALT is a lightweight set of XML elements that enhance existing markup languages with a speech interface. SALT will thus extend existing markup languages such as HTML, xHTML and XML. Multimodal access will enable users to interact with an application in a variety of ways: They will be able to input data using speech and/or a keyboard, keypad, mouse or stylus, and produce data as synthesized speech, audio, plain text, motion video and/or graphics. Each of these modes could be used independently or concurrently. Because SALT is independent of the underlying platform, developers will be able to add a speech interface to applications, making them accessible from telephones or other GUI-based devices. The forum founders expect to make the specification publicly available in the first quarter of 2002 and to submit it to a standards body by midyear ."
From the Specification Overview:
SALT is a lightweight set of XML elements that enhance existing markup languages with a speech interface. SALT can be used equally effectively with all the flavors of HTML, or with any other SGML-derived markup. Most importantly, SALT does not define a new programming model; it reuses the existing Web execution model so that the same application code can be shared across modalities. And since SALT does not alter the behavior of the markup languages with which it is used, SALT is future-proof: it can be used with any future XML standard.
SALT markup: The main elements of SALT are  <prompt> for configuring the speech synthesizer and playing out prompts;  <reco> for configuring the speech recognizer, executing recognition, and handling recognition events;  <grammar> for specifying input grammar resources;  <bind> for processing recognition results into the page These elements are activated either declaratively or programmatically under script running on the client device. SALT also provides DTMF and call control services for telephony browsers running voice-only applications.
- SALT Forum web site
- Announcement 2001-10-15: "Cisco, Comverse, Intel, Microsoft, Philips and SpeechWorks Found Speech Application Language Tags Forum to Develop New Standard for Multimodal and Telephony-Enabled Applications and Services. Industry Leaders Join to Accelerate Widespread Adoption of Speech and Graphical Interaction With HTML, xHTML and XML-Based Applications and Web Services."
- SALT specification Overview
- "Speech Application Language Tags (SALT)" - Main reference page.