Linux Foundation Launches Open Voice Network to Set Voice Tech Standards
The Linux Foundation has debuted a new organization to set standards for the voice tech industry. The new Open Voice Network is a partnership between Linux and companies like Microsoft and Deutsche Telekom to promote trust in voice technology as it continues to become more popular and widely used.
Open Voice Network
The Open Voice Network is a central hub for creating and promoting common standards for voice assistants. The ultimate goal is a comprehensive set of guidelines and standards for everything about voice AI and voice assistants, including customer privacy and security. The Linux Foundation is working with Target, Schwarz Gruppe, Wegmans Food Markets, Microsoft, Veritone, and Deutsche Telekom as the initial members. All of the members anticipate voice becoming the most common digital interface in the near future, and the Open Voice Network is how they plan to meet that moment. Each is committing money and other resources to create the standards, sharing them with others in the industry, and advocating on behalf of groups and companies that are using voice tech.
“Voice is expected to be a primary interface to the digital world, connecting users to billions of sites, smart environments and AI bots. It is already increasingly being used beyond smart speakers to include applications in automobiles, smartphones and home electronics devices of all types. Key to enabling enterprise adoption of these capabilities and consumer comfort and familiarity is the implementation of open standards,” Linux Foundation senior vice president and general manager of projects Mike Dolan, said in a statement. “The potential impact of voice on industries including commerce, transportation, healthcare and entertainment is staggering, and we’re excited to bring it under the open governance model of the Linux Foundation to grow the community and pave a way forward.”
The Open Voice Network shares some similarities with the Voice Interoperability Initiative (VII), founded by Amazon in 2019. The Initiative’s goal of ensuring voice-capable devices can connect to each other is something the Network also seeks, just from a different angle. The VII now counts nearly 80 companies as members and has expanded from a focus on smart speakers and smart displays to mobile and smart home devices as well. As part of the project, Amazon wrote a Multi-Agent design guide with some input from other VII members to help device makers come up with hardware and software designs that simplify how customers make a choice among voice assistant options.