Web Speech Working Group


The mission of the Web Speech Working Group is to bring speech to the web. This will be accomplished by building Javascript API(s) that enable developers to add speech recognition and synthesis to web contexts like HTML.

Join the Web Speech Working Group.

End date31 October 2014
ConfidentialityProceedings are public
Initial ChairsCHAIR INFO
Initial Team Contacts
(FTE %: 20)
Usual Meeting ScheduleTeleconferences: Monthly
Face-to-face: 1-2 per year


This group will be limited to developing client API(s). These API(s) may include the ability to reference remote speech resources and request particular protocols for communication, but will not define the protocols themselves.

A primary use case for the API(s) specified by this group will be enabling developers to build multi-modal applicaitons in an HTML browser. The class of such applicaitons range from basic form filling to professional grade dialogs with the end user.

These API(s) are not, however, limited to use in an HTML browser. They might be used in any context in which the developer: a) Requires speech functionality, and b) Has access to a JavaScript interpreter.

Success Criteria

To advance to Proposed Recommendation, each specification is expected to have two independent implementations of all features required by the specification.


Recommendation Track Deliverables

This Working Group will produce a Web Speech API specification. The initial version of this document will be copied from the Web Speech JavaScript API Specificaiton which was produced by the W3C Speech API Community Group. Further modifications (if any) will be decided upon by this Working Group.

Other Deliverables

The Working Group will publish a Web Speech API Use Cases and Requirements document as a Working Group Note. The inital draft for this note will be coppied from sections 4 and 5 of the HTML Speech Incubator Group's Final Report. Further modifications (if any) will be decided upon by this Working Group.

The Working Group will also develop a test suite for the Web Speech Speech API.

The Working Group may develop a primer, tutorial or other educational materials relating to speech and the Web.

The Working Group may submit change requests to the HTML Working Group for the purpose of enabling scenarios that take advantage of speech recognition and synthesis in HTML5.

The Working Group may submit change requests to the Voice Browser Working Group for SRGS, SSML, SISR, VoiceXML 3, or other languages and specifications where appropriate for the purposes of consistency

The Working Group may submit change requests to the Multi-modal Interactions Working Group relating to EMMA


Note: The group will document significant changes from this initial schedule on the group home page.
Specification FPWD LC CR PR Rec
Web Speech API Q2 2013 Q4 2013 Q1 2014 Q2 2014 Q3 2014

Timeline View Summary

The Working Group may be involved in Workshops, the details of which will be listed on the Working Groups home page as information becomes available.

Dependencies and Liaisons

Liaisons with W3C Groups

The Web Speech Working Group will request document reviews from the following groups:

HTML Working Group
The Working Group may submit change requests to the HTML Working Group for the purpose of enabling scenarios that take advantage of speech recognition and synthesis in HTML5.
Device APIs Working Group
The DAP Working Group on Media Capture APIs will be a critical component from which the speech recognition will be built.
Voice Browser WG
The Voice Browser WG produces specifications such as Speech Recognition Grammar Specification, Speech Synthesis Markup Language, Pronounciation Lexicon, and Semantic Interpretation for Speech Recognition which all will be relevant to the work of the group.
The WebRTC group may produce work that will influence how audio capture happens and is used by the recognition API.
Audio WG
The work of speech synthesis is likely to overlap with and complement the work being produced in the Audio Group.
Multimodal Interaction WG
The Multimodal Interaction Working Group produces Extensible Multimodal Annotations which will be an important part of the recognition API of this group.
The Hypertext Coordination Group will likely be interested in the work of the group.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group is likely to be interested in shaping this groups work to the needs of web uses with disabilities.

Liaisons with External Groups

The Incubator Report included a preliminary Web Sockets protocol that is expected to be done at IETF.


To be successful, this Working Group is expected to have 10 or more active participants for its duration, and to have the participation of industry leaders in fields relevant to the specifications it produces.

The Chairs and specification Editors are expected to contribute one to two days per week towards the Working Group. There is no minimum requirement for other participants.

For each specification the Working Group will name a Test Facilitator whose responsibility is to ensure that a Test Suite is made available.

Based on the input from the group participants, the Chairs may also decide to create task forces that allow more focused discussions for topics that require specific expertise.

This Working Group encourages questions and comments on its public mailing list, @@listname@@, which is @@listname@@ publicly archived.


Most of the technical work of the group is done through discussions on @@listname@@, the group’s public mailing list. Editors’ drafts and their editing history is available from a public W3C Web site. The group’s action and issue tracking data is also public, as are the participants-approved minutes from all teleconferences and meetings.

In general, the Working Group holds monthly teleconference as needed, but additional teleconferences can be scheduled occasionally at the chairs' discretion if a specific topic seems to warrant synchronous discussion.

The group uses a Member-confidential mailing list for administrative purposes and, at the discretion of the Chairs and participants of the group, for Member-only discussions in special cases when a particular participant requests such a discussion.

Information about the group (for example, details about deliverables, issues, actions, status, participants) is available from the @@Web Speech Working Group home page@@

Decision Policy

As explained in the W3C Process Document (section 3.3), this group will seek to make decisions when there is consensus and with due process. The expectation is that typically, an editor or other participant makes an initial proposal, which is then refined in discussion with members of the group and other reviewers, and consensus emerges with little formal voting being required. However, if a decision is necessary for timely progress, but consensus is not achieved after careful consideration of the range of views presented, the Chairs should put a question out for voting within the group (allowing for remote asynchronous participation—using, for example, email and/or web-based survey techniques) and record a decision, along with any objections. The matter should then be considered resolved unless and until new information becomes available.

Asynchronous decisions that are attained through the mailing list, possibly using a “Call for Consensus” process are preferred, but synchronous decisions made during a teleconference or a face-to-face meeting are valid provided that the topic they address was clearly outlined in a public agenda posted one week earlier so that non-participating parties have a chance to voice their views ahead of time.

This charter is written in accordance with Section 3.4, Votes of the W3C Process Document and includes no voting procedures beyond what the Process Document requires.

Patent Policy

This Working Group operates under the W3C Patent Policy (5 February 2004 Version). To promote the widest adoption of Web standards, W3C seeks to issue Recommendations that can be implemented, according to this policy, on a Royalty-Free basis.

For more information about disclosure obligations for this group, please see the W3C Patent Policy Implementation.

About this Charter

This charter for this Working Group has been created according to section 6.2 of the Process Document. In the event of a conflict between this document or the provisions of any charter and the W3C Process, the W3C Process shall take precedence.

The draft charter reviewed by the W3C Membership is available.

Editor: Milan Young