The development of speech technology is dependent on the availability of data and tools operating in various computer environments. Speech as acoustic data is digitised to be computable, and therefore the speech research community pays tribute to the various sectors concerned with the digitisation of sounds. It has to deal with the requirements of its purpose and with the available current technology.
Among these sectors, the audio industry takes over the hi-fi market with the development of Compact Disc technology and Digital Audio Tape. The computer industry was interested first in audio output, then, with the development of multimedia capacities, both hardware and software (operating systems, I/O boards) were affected to handle speech sampling progressively, then speech synthesis and recognition. Last but not least telephone and communication networking play an important role in the transmission and coding of speech and sounds as their worldwide scope implies of course standard protocols.
Each of these sectors has its own requirements and develop too many standards with regard to hardware and software aspects. A digitised signal is characterised by many parameters which can lead to various encodings on communication channels and to numerous file formats when it is recorded on a computable medium.