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International Companies Announce Support for the Open eBook Standard

From: Jamal Mazrui <empower@smart.net>
Date: Sun, 04 Apr 1999 11:47:01 -0600
Message-Id: <199904041546.LAA28552@gemini.smart.net>
To: <vicug-l@maelstrom.stjohns.edu>, <easi@maelstrom.stjohns.edu>, <uaccess-l@tracecenter.org>, <nfbcs@nfbnet.org>, <basr-l@tracecenter.org>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
From the web site http://www.prodworks.com

                          Press Release

   International Companies Announce Support for the Open eBook

Last Updated: March 30, 1999

| PW Home Page |

March 30, 1999 - Trenton, NJ. Today The Productivity Works of
Trenton, New Jersey, USA, Labyrinten Data AB, of Sweden, and
VisuAide of Quebec, Canada, announced support in their products
for the Open eBook standard as expressed in the Open eBook

A key element of the Open eBook Initiative has been the
specification for eBook file and format structure based on HTML
and XML, the languages used to format information for Web sites.
The goal of the specification is to quickly create a critical
mass of compelling content. A publisher will be able to format a
title once according to the specification and the content will
be compatible with a wide variety of reading devices.

"Today's announcement brings a new dimension to the Open eBook
Initiative by providing tools to incorporate audio into eBooks
as well as making this new dimension of eBooks available via
software players and hardware playback devices." noted Ray
Ingram, executive vice president of The Productivity Works. He
continued by saying that "the eBook specification has been
created to encompass many styles of usage. Combining audio with
the text, as well as supporting reading of the books using
synthetic speech, allows the broadest audience of users,
including those with visual or reading problems, excellent
access to this new format of material."

The Productivity Works (www.prodworks.com) and Labyrinten
(www.labyrinten.se) co-develop and market the LpStudio/PLUS,
LpPlayer, pwWebSpeak, and pwTelephone products, all of which
will provide support for the new Open eBook specification.
VisuAide (www.visuaide.com) develops and markets the VICTOR
digital audio book reader.

LpStudio/PLUS provides a recording, editing, and production tool
to add synchronized audio into eBooks. LpPlayer is a specialized
software player and book navigation for eBooks and other format
electronic books that include synchronized digital audio.
pwWebSpeak is a non-visual Web browser that will include support
for eBook formats, including synchronized audio, and pwTelephone
is software that will allow services to deliver eBooks in
synthesized speech or digital audio, directly over the telephone
by linking to eBooks located on Web Servers.

The VICTOR digital audio book reader is a CD-based reader that
provides for navigation around books, book marking, and other
facilities that make the listening to digital audio versions of
e-Books pleasant and effective. The ability to utilize page
numbers and other book navigation attributes are also directly
supported within the VICTOR.

Gilles Pepin, president of VisuAide, commented that "the Open
eBook initiative combines publishers, booksellers, audio book
distributors, and software and hardware manufacturers. This
provides the opportunity for a very broad range of materials to
reach new audiences quickly that have so far generally been
excluded access to such materials. The VICTOR provides an ideal
reading and audio navigation device for the eBook materials
published with digital audio.


All media inquiries: Open City Communications, 212-714-3575 or

Ray Ingram, The Productivity Works, Inc.

Gilles Pepin, VisuAide

                                  The Productivity Works Joins   
                                   in Efforts to Create Open     
                                 Standards for Accessible Books  
                                  Last Updated: March 30, 1999   
                                   The Productivity Works is     
                                   involved in several groups    
                                     working to create open      
                                    standards for accessible     
                                    electronic books. These      
                                  efforts include the National   
                                     Information Standards       
                                  Organization (NISO) Digital    
                                   Talking Book Standard, the    
                                   Daisy Consortium's Digital    
                                 Talking Book System, and now,   
                                     the Open E-Book group.      
                                    Our involvement in these     
                                     groups is based on one      
                                  guiding principle: that the    
                                  formats for electronic books   
                                 must be based solely on open,   
                                      publicly available,        
                                  international standards. To    
                                    that end, we have worked     
                                  diligently to recommend and    
                                   promote the usage of open     
                                   standards such as those of    
                                 the World Wide Web Consortium.  
                                   NISO Digital Talking Book     
                                 The NISO Digital Talking Book   
                                 Standard effort was initiated   
                                      by the US Library of       
                                   Congress' National Library    
                                   Service in 1997. A diverse    
                                  working committee consisting   
                                  of representatives from user   
                                 groups, government, industry,   
                                 and library organizations has   
                                  been working to define this    
                                 standard, which is based upon   
                                         XML with SMIL.          
                                   Daisy Talking Book System     
                                  The Daisy Consortium Digital   
                                  Talking Book system is based   
                                  upon HTML, XML, and SMIL. In   
                                  partnership with Labyrinten    
                                  Data, The Productivity Works   
                                   has been working with the     
                                   Consortium to develop the     
                                   standard and to implement     
                                    authoring and production     
                                      tools. In addition,        
                                  Labyrinten and Productivity    
                                 Works are developing a number   
                                   of playback and authoring     
                                  tools that support Daisy and   
                                        other standards.         
                                          Open E-Book            
                                     The Productivity Works      
                                   undertook participation in    
                                   Open E-Book in February of    
                                     1999, with the stated       
                                   interest of ensuring that     
                                   Open E-Book would be both     
                                   accessible and compatible     
                                  with the existing standards    
                                 activities of NISO and Daisy.   
                                    The first public working     
                                    draft of the Open E-Book     
                                  specification was published    
                                 on 29 March 1999. Comments by   
                                 The Productivity Works on the   
                                   current working draft are     
                                        Other Activities         
                                     The Productivity Works      
                                  actively participates in the   
                                   World Wide Web Consortium     
                                     (W3C) and continually       
                                 evaluates how developments in   
                                 web protocols and formats can   
                                   benefit the development of    
                                 open standards for accessible   
                                     The Productivity Works      
                                     supports the work and       
                                  recommendations of the W3C.    

Copyright (c)1996-1999 The Productivity Works, Inc.

End of Document
Received on Sunday, 4 April 1999 11:47:08 UTC

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