Conference Paper

The spoken web application framework: user generated content and service creation through low-end mobiles.

DOI: 10.1145/1805986.1805990 Conference: Proceedings of the International Cross-Disciplinary Conference on Web Accessibility, W4A 2010, Raleigh, NC, USA, April 26 - 27, 2010
Source: DBLP

ABSTRACT While the word 'accessibility' seems to require a new definition in the context of making Web available in developing regions, we propose to expand the definition of 'Web' itself in the same context. The prevalent definition of Web as a system of interlinked textual documents available on the Internet and accessed through a web browser, needs to be modified to include new types of hyperlinked content and new access mechanisms. Spoken Web is emerging as an alternate web for the underprivileged by breaking barriers of illiteracy, affordability and local languages. It is envisioned as being complementary to the existing Web and navigable entirely through a voice based interface using an ordinary telephone. In this paper, we present Spoken Web Application Framework (SWAF) -- a framework for enabling creation of sites in Spoken Web through a simple voice interaction over an ordinary phone call. This unique novelty of SWAF provides an extremely simplified service creation ability using voice interaction rather than through programming by IT experts thus enabling a new software development paradigm. It is meant to be a platform for making the power of Web technologies become accessible to the next billion IT users of the world. We present the architecture, design and implementation of the SWAF framework.

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    ABSTRACT: Voice modality has a great potential to enrich standard WWW user experience, offer higher efficiency and overcome limits of visually impaired users. However, creating voice driven applications is currently complicated due to re- quirements of specific software and skills. To overcome this, we propose a novel architecture for large scale development and deployment of voice driven applications. Another contribution of this paper is performance evaluation to verify usability of voice modality in home environment. Various kinds of background noise were analyzed in order to determine possible drawbacks of speech recognition. Results were investigated and discussed to find out possible causes and further improvements of voice driven applications. Index Terms—Software architecture, speech recognition, per- formance evaluation. I. INTRODUCTION For last 20 years, the World Wide Web (WWW) has been established as a major approach for sharing and spreading information worldwide. Huge amount of both publishers and consumers caused WWW to grow and claim a great impact on everyday's life. However, WWW heavily relies on visual ori- ented representation of information, omitting visually impaired users and limiting others. The visual modality of interacting with WWW on personal computer or smart phones greatly limits users from managing multiple simultaneous activities and claims them to stay focused. Topical challenge is to design convenient approach to enable WWW interaction employing voice modality that comple- ments the visual modality. This will lead to more natural interaction emphasizing strengths of each modality, e.g. voice as a user input and visual output for presenting results. Therefore, user's hands and eyes will be free to manage multiple activities while entering commands by voice. This benefit may be recognized by teachers, engineers, doctors, and other specialists, whose productivity may be greatly enhanced by employing voice modality. Current research in voice modality is built on top long-term research of automated speech recognition (ASR) and text-to- speech synthesis (TTS). In order to make both ASR and TTS technologies widely available in distributed network infrastruc- ture, VoiceXML standard has been created and maintained by W3C (1). Our long-term research focuses on voice interaction within telecommunication infrastructure. Based on our experience and previous results, we proposed a novel architecture to facilitate development, deployment and evaluation of complex voice driven applications. Section II introduces recent research contributions, section III describes the architecture. Feasibility of the voice modality is evaluated in section IV. Finally, section V discusses results of the evaluation and proposes future work.