Text-to-Speech (TTS) is an operative technology and language modelling process that reads digital text aloud. This converts units of text into units of speech. By providing an audio output it is the direct opposite of audio-to-text software and benefits those who have trouble reading. It takes words on a computer or any electronic device and converts them to speech. It is particularly helpful for kids to write, edit and focus. The instant messaging app, KalamTime includes text to audio conversion this convenient feature allowing improved communication with friends, family, clients etc.
How Text-to-Speech Works
This technology can work on any electronic gadget be it computers, laptops, smartphones or tablets. It can convert text to audio for any file, even Word documents or online webpages. The voice may be computer-generated or sound human-like. The user can change the settings for even a child-like voice if needed. Voice quality can be modified by increasing or decreasing the speed of the sound. Furthermore, even the digital text that is being converted can be highlighted so that the user is aware of what text corresponds to what audio, eliminating any confusion. Interestingly, some TTS tools also have Optical Character Recognition (OCR) where text can be read aloud even from images.
Challenges of Developing Text-to-Audio
In English Language a number of homonyms have different pronunciation so probability modelling is used to guess the pronunciation of a word in digital text. The computer program converts text to phonemes, the smallest units of speech pronunciation. To make text-to-audio technology error-free some practices for TTS development include phoneme bases, concatenative approaches such as synthesising sounds by concatenating short samples of recorded sound (called units) or through predictive analytics in which statistical data or algorithms are used to identify likely future outcomes from a database of historical data.
Types of Text-to-Audio Tools
Built in Text-to-Speech
This can be found on devices like laptops, computers, tablets and Chrome. The user doesn’t have to purchase any app or software for this purpose.
Some websites even have this feature found on the bottom left of your screen. Just click on “Reading Assist” and the webpage will be read aloud. Also, kids with dyslexia can benefit from the Bookshare account with digital books that can be read with TTS. There are also free TTS tools available online.
TTS apps can be downloaded on smartphones and tablets and allow options like text highlighting in different colours or OCR. Some examples include Voice Dream Reader, Claro ScanPen and Office Lens.
Chrome has added TTS tools recently. These include Read&Write for Google Chrome and Snap&Read Universal. You can use these tools on a Chromebook or any computer with the Chrome browser.
Text-to-speech software programs
These include many literacy programs on computers. Apart from reading and writing tools, software programs are now equipped with TTS. Examples include Kurzweil 3000, ClaroRead and Read&Write. Microsoft’s Immersive Reader tool also has TTS. It can be found in programs like OneNote and Word.
Benefits of Text-to-Speech
End users are customers whose satisfaction takes precedence. They may be purchasers of products or engaged in providing services. They are website visitors, machine, device or app users, online learners, researchers,and buyers etc. Through TTS content owners can fulfill the needs of end users effectively.
ReadSpeaker is a software that allows real-time text-to-speech (TTS) solutions for websites, mobile apps, e-books, e-learning material, documents, and transport experience systems, media or robotics.
How do Businesses, Publishers and Organizations Benefit from TTS?
Effective brand experience touchpoints
A single TTS across several multiple contact points allows consistent interaction between the brand and its customers.
Penetration into Global market
A clear and personalized TTS can spread the reach of one’s business around the world. It is easier for foreigners to understand the computerized voice-over and caters to better communication.
Cost-effective and saves time
TTS is web or cloud-base on a SaaS (Software as a Service) platform. Online information can effortlessly be speech enable and no extra maintenance costs are require.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Companies have digital marketing strategies to optimize engagement with customers across various connected channels. TTS gives IoT a user-friendly approach to reach out to clients.
Facilitates Internet usability for everyone
TTS technology attracts 774 million people worldwide with literacy issues and 285 million people with visual impairments. It thus, ehaces the web presence for any user be it foreign or native, old or young.
Even in this social media power world, word of mouth marketing is consider unique. Users are more likely to return to and recommend online sites where they had a positive experience.
Improved employee performance
During corporate learning programs, the HR Department can craft employee learning modules so that the latter can learn anywhere and anytime.
Improved customer experience
Human agent workload consistently decreases, personally-tailored services are provides and operational costs are cut down by speech-enabling before and after-sales services.
Convenience for End Users
Your content is easily accessible
Digital content can reach a wider population especially people with learning disabilities, vision impairment or difficulty grasping a language.
Promotes different learning styles
Some people are auditory, visual or kinesthetic learners. Some are even the combination of any of these. The Universal Design for Learning offers adaptable lesson plans which appeal to all learning styles so users can retain information.
More convenient and on-the go
Everyone is on the move and text-to-speech conversion on mobiles or any portable devices enables people to listen to news, blogs or even e-books.
A growing elderly population which is Internet dependant
Between 2015 and 2030, the number of people aged 60 years or over will grow by 56%. In the US alone, 59% of senior citizens use the Internet daily. Keeping in mind the large number of senior users, making digital content accessible in multiple forms will make it user-friendly.
Populations are evolving
244 million people are foreign born across the globe. Language proficiency and schooling in the host country’s language is a very real problem for migrants and their families.
How Text-to-Audio assists children
- Improves word recognition
- Can better retain information while reading
- Enhances concentration and comprehension skills as don’t need to sound out words
- Allows children to fix own errors in writing
10 Best Text-to-Audio Softwares
- Readspeaker Voice Demo
- TTS Demo
- TTS Reader
- Text to Speech
- Text 2 Speech
- Readspeaker Voice Demo