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Last modified: January 04, 2001
VoxML Markup Language

A press release of September 30, 1998 described Motorola's introduction of the VoxML Voice Markup Language. VoxML is identified by Motorola as 'The Markup Language for Voice Applications'.

"Motorola recognized the need to provide an easier way to produce voice applications and created the VoxML language. The main goal of Motorola's VoxML effort is to offer a common approach and broadly supported platform for voice applications just as HTML provides for Web based applications. VoxML technology enables the application interface to be in the form of dialogues: navigation and input is produced via speech recognition of end-user's voice and output is produced via text-to-speech technology or recorded audio samples. The VoxML language is based on the W3C eXtensible Markup Language (XML) standard. As such, the language follows all of the syntactic rules of XML with semantics that support the creation of interactive speech applications.

"Motorola is proposing the VoxML approach as a publicly available specification for voice applications development. The goal of this effort is to engage key partners in the Internet, communications, speech technology, and speech application communities to support a broadly accepted markup language for developing voice applications. A widely supported approach to voice application development will create business opportunities across industry segments. This effort will collectively be the driving force in creating the next generation voice applications."

"Interested developers can obtain a software development kit (SDK) - which includes a VoxML language specification, a VoxML simulator for applications development and several example applications."

"Q. Why did you create a new markup language? Why don't you just use XML or HTML with style sheets? A. Existing markup languages (even with style sheets) aren't well suited for developing voice dialogues. VoxML (which is based on XML) was designed to support interactive dialogues while leveraging the technologies that have made the Internet a simple and effective medium to distribute content. . . The VoxML language supports the use of context free grammars written in an extended BNF format."


  • See now [March 02, 1999]: VXML Forum (Voice Extensible Markup Language Forum)

  • Motorola VoxML Developer Site

  • VoxML Overview and FAQ

  • Press release, September 30, 1998. Motorola Introduces Voice Browser Technology For Accessing Web Content from Telephones."

  • VoxML News

  • VoxML Developer Information

  • [January 04, 2001] "VoxML: Get Your Database Talking." By Srdjan Vujosevic and Robert Laberge (President, In WebTechniques Volume 6, Issue 2 (February 2001), pages 51-55. ['With the emergence of VoxML and its newest sibling, VoiceXML, web sites can now talk back to their users. Srdjan and Robert build an online coffee shop with VoxML, demonstrating how to create a new dialog with their customers.]' (and note:) "Internet application voice commands are in their infancy..." See "VoiceXML Forum."

  • [October 06, 1998] "The Web Finds Its Voice. VoxML, an upcoming Web standard, will let you talk to your favorite Web site over the phone." By Angela Hickman. In PC Mgazine [Online] (October 5, 1998). "If Motorola has its way, someday soon you'll be able to pick up any phone, call a voice 'browser,' and then, when the call is connected, interact with an Internet or intranet application hosted on a Web server. The key to this new way of accessing the Internet is Voice Markup Language (VoxML). It's based on Extensible Markup Language (XML), which provides a common language for describing data. In cooperation with industry partners, Motorola's objective is to develop VoxML into an open platform, then to submit it to the World Wide Web Consortium for standards approval."

  • [October 06, 1998] "Now This Is a Dial-Up." By [Staff]. In Wired News Report (September 30, 1998). Motorola's "Internet and Connectivity Services Division on Wednesday unveiled VoxML, a markup language that encodes Web-site information so it can be read over the telephone. '[VoxML] allows consumers to access Internet or intranet information from any phone, wireless, or wireline,' said Motorola's Mitesh Patel. 'And it leverages the skills of a huge base of developers who can use their Internet-development skills beyond the desktop.' The voice markup language allows for an assortment of speech technologies to be incorporated so information on the Web can speak through any phone. Sites can either convert the text of Web pages to computerized speech, play prerecorded audio content, or construct sentences out of prerecorded words and phrases -- such as 'partly sunny' for a weather report."

  • [October 06, 1998] Press release: "Motorola, SAP, Visa, Broadvision And Others Team With Nuance To Introduce V-Commerce." - 'A group of technology leaders including Motorola, Inc., SAP Labs, Inc. Visa International and BroadVision, Inc, today joined with Nuance Communications to introduce V-Commerce. VoxML - Motorola's Voice Markup Language (VoxML), [which] simplifies the process of providing telephone access to content available on Web sites, is one of three new technologies which will enable easy and rapid development of V-Commerce applications.'

  • [October 09, 1998] "Motorola Debuts XML-Based Markup Language for Voice-Driven Interfaces." By James C. Luh. In Internet World Volume 4, Issue 32 (October 5, 1998), page 7. "Motorola Corp. last week introduced Voice Markup Language (VoxML), an XML-based markup language for building voice-driven natural-language interfaces to Web applications. Mitesh Patel, mobile applications platform director for Motorola's Internet Connectivity Services Division, said VoxML will enable users to use their phones to access automated, voice-driven services, such as flight information access and traffic reports, by speaking natural-language commands, such as "Is Flight 277 from Denver on time?" A VoxML application will reside on a Web server, and, like a traditional Web application, will exchange information between the server and a browser on the user's end. However, VoxML applications will employ documents written in VoxML rather than in HTML, and users will access the documents not with traditional HTML browsers but with voice-activated browsing systems that users in turn can access via telephone or voice-enabled PC."

  • [November 09, 1998] "Putting a 'V' Into E-Commerce. VoxML dials up Web sites, but developers will stay on hold, PC Week Labs finds." By Herb Bethoney. In PC Week [Online] (November 9, 1998). "PC Week Labs' examination of VoxML's SDK showed it to be a useful set of development tools for experimenting with VoxML - the kit includes a VoxML Simulator application for testing VoxML applications - but the SDK has a long way to go before it will allow developers to fully deploy a voice application. For example, the version of the Simulator we used, the latest available from Motorola's VoxML Web site, doesn't yet support all of the VoxML specifications, especially input types such as Record, Time or Date. VoxML is based on the XML (Extensible Markup Language) standard and conforms to the language rules of XML with tags that support the creation of interactive speech applications."

  • "Phone-Based Web Browsing Rings In" By John Gartner. In CMP TechWeb (October 8, 1998). "VoXML masks the technology behind the voice-to-voice communications by using an XML data-tagging structure to link the text-to-speech that generates audio with the speech-recognition software that interprets a user's command."

  • Contact Information (Motorola)

  • Email contact:

  • Compare: IBM's SpeechML and Sun Microsystems' "Java Speech Markup Language (JSML)."

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