New charter for the Multimodal Interaction Working Group

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New charter for the Multimodal Interaction Working Group

Deborah Dahl

I am pleased to announce that the W3C Multimodal Interaction Working

Group [1] has been rechartered to continue its work through 2016. As we

interact with technology through more and more diverse devices, the

critical need for standards for multimodal interaction becomes

increasingly clear.


Mobile devices, wearables, smart homes, ambient devices and devices in

the Web of Things all place their own new requirements on interaction

capabilities. We can no longer rely on the traditional modes of

keyboard, screen and pointing, but must consider other modalities,

such as speech, natural language, handwriting, gesture and camera, to

name only a few. Existing standards developed by the Multimodal

Interaction Working Group, such as the Multimodal Architecture and

Interfaces specification [2] and EMMA (Extensible Multimodal

Annotation) [3] support the integration of an open-ended set of

current and future modalities that will be key to future forms of

human-computer interaction.


The major work items to be undertaken in this charter period include:


(1) a new version of EMMA, EMMA 2.0. EMMA 2.0 will include several new

    major features, for example:


    a. handling output from the system to the user, including spoken and

    typed output as well as other system actions

    b. support for a broader range of formats, for example, JSON and RDF

    c. the ability to represent incremental results such as intermediate

    speech and handwriting recognition results


(2)Work on Discovery and Registration of Modality Components [4] within

   the MMI Architecture. This work will support the kinds of

   dynamically configurable systems that are required for mobile users.


In addition, the group will maintain the InkML [5], MMI

Architecture [2], and EmotionML [6]specifications as needed by their user



An important change in this charter period is that the group will

conduct its technical discussions in public. The group will be using

this list to discuss technical issues that arise during the

development of its specifications. By working in public, we hope to

promote understanding of the specifications and encourage discussion.


For more information, including information about joining the group,

please see the new charter [7].


[1] MMI WG home page:

[2] MMI Architecture and Interfaces:

[3] EMMA (Extensible Multimodal Annotation):

[4] Discovery and Registration:

[5] InkML:

[6] EmotionML:

[7] Charter:


Best regards,

Deborah Dahl, MMI Working Group Chair, W3C Invited Expert