Opera is the first voice-enabled browser that can offer a full, all-round web experience, greatly expanding web access not only to visually or motorically impaired people, but easing access via a mobile phone, on vertical computers, etc.

Opera has been working joinedly with IBM on a multimodal browser. The three main new concepts of voice-enabled Opera are

A separate page contains all supported CSS3 Speech properties, some setup files and links to more resources.

voice browser?

What is a voice browser? A voice browser is a device that interprets voice markup languages to generate voice output and accepts voice input.

Voice is a very natural and immediate communication channel that can be used either on its own, or joinedly with mouse, keyboard or other devices. Several different target groups will benefit from this: not only visually or motorically impaired users, but also users that need to have their hands free (vertical car computers) or users with a device too small to allow comfortable use of keyboard or pointing devices like mice, pens or other (mobile phones).

Voice-enabled Opera furthermore allows you to interact with web pages coded in XHTML+Voice (X+V) - you can fill in online forms and otherwise interact with the page. Booking flights from your mobile phone will be as comfortable as from your desktop computer, telling your vertical car computer your destination will not require you anymore to take your hands off the steering wheel…

But voice-enabled Opera will allow you also c3n, the new voice interaction with the browser itself. c3n, the command, control and content navigation, can integrate or even fully replace the traditional keyboard or mouse control of the browser interface: navigate the page, browse the web, open links, log into password-protected pages, fetch and read your mail, and many more things will be possible with spoken voice commands.

The voice-enabled Opera browser allows hands-free interaction with web pages and with the browser, be it a support for visually or motorically impaired users, users that have to keep their hands and eyes free for other things, or users with hardware too small to be used with direct touch, or out of reach.

screen reader?

Opera not only displays web pages with full support for modern web standards, but it also reads out the pages for blind users, users that have learning difficulties, users that are not looking or cannot look at the screen, or simply users that need to learn a language. Opera is the first all-comprising browser that allows access to the web to virtually anybody! It is the first screen reader to support most of the CSS3 Speech style properties.

You can find some keyboard and voice configuration files to ease using the screen reader.

css3 speech!

Support for speech stylesheets was very poor up to now - virtually the only browser supporting aural stylesheets was Emacspeak. Opera now is the first all-round graphical and voice browser to include support for CSS3 Speech properties!

Opera targets CSS3 Speech Module rather than CSS2 Aural CSS, as CSS3 represents better the latest development in the speech world, including SSML.

The Speech module of CSS3 is in its very early stages, and still a working draft only. In order to avoid possible interference with some properties that possibly might change, Opera has chosen to prefix some properties with -xv-. I have provided a full list of supported CSS3 Speech properties, each one with a little demo test.

further reading

last.update :: 2004.11.17