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VoiceXML 2.1 boosts functionality

May 08, 20061 min
Enterprise Applications

* Language used for developing interactive voice response

VoiceXML 2.1 boosts functionality

By Sanjeev Sawai

VoiceXML is quickly becoming the standard language used for developing interactive voice response and speech-enabled self-service applications. Applications that were previously deployed only on the Web are now easily made available via the phone, giving customers a consistent, convenient method for interacting with retailers, banks and utility providers via the Web or telephone.

The latest version, VoiceXML 2.1, takes a significant step toward improving the responsiveness and adaptability of speech-enabled approaches. This can be the difference between customers who are happy with a company’s speech-enabled self-service options and those who take their business elsewhere.

The improvements proposed in VoiceXML 2.1, which is under consideration by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), demonstrate that VoiceXML is establishing itself as a stable, mature standard that deals with long-term issues, such as the mechanics of application development.

Version 2.1 adds two elements and enhances a half-dozen others. The new elements – and – are tools for creating sophisticated application functionality without unnecessary complexity.

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Sawai is vice president of research and development at Envox Worldwide. He can be reached at