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Opera voice support mentioned in Slate

They love the browser, so-so towards voice

1:55 pm on Mar 3, 2005 (gmt 0)

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At least in this beta version, Opera's most useful voice-activated features are the commands that control the browser itself. All I had to do was plug in my USB headset (if you've got a laptop, you can just use the built-in speaker and microphone) and turn on the voice feature in the preferences panel. Instantly, the browser obeyed my commands. "Opera, back!" I said, and the back button clicked. "Opera, next link! Opera, open link!" It all seems like a cute gimmick at first, but as I write this article I'm finding it easier to shout at Opera to scroll up and scroll down than to reach over a whole 2 inches to grab my mouse....

Speech-driven computer interfaces are nothing new—you can buy IBM's ViaVoice for about $45. But the Opera browser is significant because it adds support for a new markup language called X+V that takes on the annoyances of using the Web on a mobile gadget. X+V, short for XHTML plus Voice, has been jointly developed by IBM, Motorola, and Opera. The language makes it easy for Web designers to hide special tags on their sites that voice-enabled browsers can both speak—"Would you like a small, medium, or large?"—and listen for—"Give me extra anchovies."

Opera voice commands are listed here [help.opera.com].

1:48 pm on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Very interesting... I wonder if this will take root in visually impared community as a viable alternatice to JAWS and it's ilk?