Innovation abound in voice APIs

Dominique Boucher of Nu Echo makes a good observation in the world of voice APIs:

In fact, the new approaches are not programming models, they essentially provide low-level instructions for the various voice platforms. Much like a virtual machine. It’s up to the user of the platform to implement its own programming model on top of these instruction sets. And this is a very attractive offer, as this will most certainly ignite the development of new application programming environments and frameworks, some of which will be platform agnostic.

We lived a somewhat similar period at the end of the last century. There were many non-interoperable proprietary IVR platforms, and the industry came up with a solution: VoiceXML. Will we see something similar happen with these new approaches? I doubt it. I think that all these approaches are sufficiently similar that a good abstraction layer on the application side can suffice to support them all easily. In the 90’s, porting an application to a new platform was plainly impossible without a complete rewrite.

As we’ve seen new programming languages and paradigms flourish in recent years, it appears that the voice API space mirrors the same trend. Just as software engineers entered the “post-Java era,” we may be on the verge of a “post-VXML era”?


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