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< Contents ERCIM News No. 57, April 2004

W3C Mobile Web Standards lined up at 3GSM 2004

W3C's results in Multimodal Interaction, Voice Browsing, Device Independence, and Multimedia Messaging were presented at the over 29,000 visited 3GSM 2004 Congress, from 23 to 26 February 2004, in Cannes, France.

Starting with a workshop in 1998, W3C develops interoperability standards for the Mobile Web, and two with significant present and future impact challenges are currently addressed: multimodal access and single authoring.

W3C's Multimodal Interaction Activity works on standards that bring interoperability to writing multimodal Web services. W3C Multimodal Interaction standards will enable a new class of exciting mobile applications that combine today's Web technologies with tomorrow's mobile technologies including voice recognition (via Speech Interface Framework, including Speech Recognition Grammar Specification, Speech Synthesis Markup Language, and VoiceXML 2.0), handwriting recognition and gestures (via InkML).
W3C's Device Independence Activity is working on standards that will significantly lower the cost of authoring Web content to be adapted to specific mobile devices or user preferences. It enables efficient multi-channel publication by single authoring. Making a device-independent Web requires improved communication between user devices and Web servers. CC/PP 1.0 provides a standardized format of the description of information that will allow Web-enabled devices to effectively communicate their capabilities to the desired server.

In addition, much of the work done in W3C Working Groups allows for profiling and adaptations of specifications to suit the needs of diverse devices. Today, SMIL (SMIL Basic) is at the heart of 3GPP's Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), and the mobile versions of SVG (Tiny) and XHTML (XHTML Basic and Modularization) are in widespread use in mobile applications. All of these specifications allow for rich content experiences, and leverage the power and extensibility of the XML standard.

Early 2004 W3C announcements, with three W3C specifications reaching Recommendation status - CC/PP 1.0, VoiceXML 2.0, Speech Recognition Grammar - bring the advantages of Web-based development and content delivery to interactive voice response applications.


ERCIM is the European host of W3C.