Voice XML, or Voice Extensible Markup Language, is a language that is very similar to HTML. The difference? Voice XML works with voice recognition and synthesized speech. VoiceXML lets you access the Internet through a phone line by a special device called a voice browser.
What happens is, you can run certain programs and applications in your voice browser. To let you communicate with this browser, Voice XML has a speech recognition system. You can give it instructions by speaking into the phone, or by pushing the touch-tone buttons. Additionally, the programs will output data to you by using synthesized speech or pre-recorded audio files.
To let you have access to web pages over your telephone, there are special Voice XML gateways. These gateways will take the information from the web page you want access to, and will read them to the user!
Let's pretend you're having a conversation with a voice browser programmed in the voice XML language. You, as the user, might be asked a question, like, for example, what is your favorite color, red, green, blue, or yellow? Voice XML will be programmed so that depending on which answer you gave, it would carry on the conversation with you in a certain way. However, if you answered purple, then the voice XML would register an error.
Voice XML would make access to information much easier! Many more people have telephones than computers. This is because many people are intimidated by the complexities of a PC, while telephones are simple and very straightforward. More people would be able to make use of the abundant information on the Internet if they could access this Information Superhighway through their telephones!