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February 23, 2009

Loquendo Ready to Support EMMA Standard

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Global speech technology provider, Loquendo, has announced its congratulations for Multimodal Interaction Working Group for the publication of the Extensible MultiModal Annotation Markup Language (EMMA) as a W3C (News - Alert) Recommendation.

Designed to be a powerful language, EMMA benefits MultiModal applications, such as voice applications, by boosting performance through the provision of an enhanced interpretation of inputs through voice and other modalities. As the use of speech and voice technologies increase, EMMA has significant applications throughout the Web.

EMMA contributes to the value of speech-enabled applications as it helps to create a richer presentation of speech input in the form of annotated ASR results, which can then be integrated into a voice platform. By improving the quality of speech, more companies will be able to implement self-service portals to support a growing customer base.

An XML markup language, EMMA represents the interpretation of user input and annotations for confidence scores, timestamps, input medium and more in speech-enabled and multimodal applications.

The Web is expected to become more accessible to more people and from more devices as a result of the EMMA 1.0 standard. The implementation of this standard will enable multimodal interaction through handwriting, natural language, gestures and speech. All of this will be in addition to the usual keyboard and mouse use.

These advancements help to encourage the development of rich Web applications at lower cost as it will provide especially valuable for mobile phone application developers by facilitating and simplifying the creation of applications making use of inputs such as speech, touch screens, stylus and more.

Multimodal Applications will also deliver benefit to those with different abilities. Those with visual, auditory, physical, cognitive and neurological impairments will be able to use alternative ways to access and interact with the Web. EMMA can also benefit those with limited motor coordination as it allows them to interact with the use of touch commands.

The EMMA standard is already supported by Loquendo (News - Alert) MRCP Server, enabling customer platforms to be EMMA compliant. This capability enhances the functionalities and interoperability of speech-enabled and multimodal applications.

"Loquendo welcomes the publication of EMMA 1.0," said Daniele Sereno, Vice President of Product Engineering, Loquendo, in a company statement. "It will facilitate the creation of multimodal applications together with more powerful speech applications - while encouraging innovation and the advancement of the Web, as well as making businesses more competitive".

The announcement of EMMA as the standard for MultiModal Annotations is significant as not only is Loquendo ready to support this standard, it also creates tremendous opportunities for both companies and consumers. By extending the power and value of interacting on the Web, consumers can have access to more information and tools, while companies will be better equipped to serve their customers.

Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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