SALT Forum Submits Spec to W3C

Spec could cause uproar from opposing group led by IBM, Motorola and Opera.

The SALT Forum announced Tuesday that it has sent its namesake Speech Application Language Tags (SALT) specification to the World Wide Web Consortium for review.

SALT is a specification used for adding voice tags to existing application development markup languages so as to develop so-called multimodal applications, which combine speech recognition, speech synthesis, graphics and text.

The SALT Forum has asked the W3C Multimodal Interaction Working Group and Voice Browser Working Group to review the SALT specification as part of their standards development for promoting multimodal interaction and voice-enabling the Web, SALT Forum officials said.

"We respect the standards efforts of the W3C and are pleased to bring the SALT specification to W3C Working Groups for their consideration," said SALT Forum representative Martin Dragomirecky in a statement. "By making a comprehensive, royalty-free contribution, we hope to accelerate their efforts targeting a new class of mobile devices that support multiple modes of interaction."

Founding members of the SALT Forum include Cisco Systems Inc., Comverse Inc., Intel Corp., Microsoft Corp., Philips Electronics N.V. and Speechworks International.

The SALT Forum has clashed in the past with another group led by IBM Corp., Motorola Inc. and Opera Software ASA. That group, which has already submitted specifications to the W3C, has sought to combine VoiceXML with XHTML to integrate speech and Web application development, and form multi-modal applications.

While the SALT Forum had always said it would submit a spec to a standards body, this is the first time it offered to work with the W3C.

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