The VoiceApp System: Speech Technologies to Access the Semantic Web

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Maximizing accessibility is not always the main objective in the design of web applications, specially if it is concerned with facilitating access for disabled people. In this paper we present the VoiceApp multimodal dialog system, which enables to access and browse Internet by means of speech. The system consists of several modules that provide different user experiences on the web. Voice Dictionary allows the multimodal access to the Wikipedia encyclopedia, Voice Pronunciations has been developed to facilitate the learning of new languages by means of games with words and images, whereas Voice Browser provides a fast and effective multimodal interface to the Google web search engine. All the applications in the system can be accessed multimodally using traditional graphic user interfaces such as keyboard and mouse, and/or by means of voice commands. Thus, the results are accessible also for motor-handicapped and visually impaired users and are easier to access by any user in small hand-held devices where graphical interfaces are in some cases difficult to employ.