Read out loud the current web-page article with one click. Supports 40+ languages.
Tired of sitting, tired of reading? Click a button, jump on your bed, and have the article read aloud to you. You can choose from many available male and female voices. You can also set the pitch of the voice and the reading speed. Supports PDF.
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What is Text-to-Speech?
Text-to-speech (TTS) is an assistive technology that reads digital text aloud. It’s sometimes called “read aloud” technology.
With a click of a button or the touch of a finger, TTS can take words on a computer or other digital device and convert them into audio. TTS is very helpful for kids who struggle with reading. But it can also help kids with writing and editing, and even focusing.
How Text-to-Speech Works
TTS works with nearly every personal digital device, including computers, smartphones and tablets. All kinds of text files can be read aloud, including Word and Pages documents. Even online web pages can be read aloud.
The voice in TTS is computer-generated, and reading speed can usually be sped up or slowed down. Voice quality varies, but some voices sound human. There are even computer-generated voices that sound like children speaking.
Many TTS tools highlight words as they are read aloud. This allows kids to see text and hear it at the same time.
How Text-to-Speech Can Help Your Child
Print materials in the classroom—like books and handouts—can create obstacles for kids with reading issues. That’s because some kids struggle with decoding and understanding printed words on the page. Using digital text with TTS helps remove these barriers.
And since TTS lets kids both see and hear text when reading, it creates a multisensory reading experience. Researchers have found that the combination of seeing and hearing text when reading:
- Improves word recognition
- Increases the ability to pay attention and remember information while reading
- Allows kids to focus on comprehension instead of sounding out words
- Increases kids’ staying power for reading assignments
- Helps kids recognize and fix errors in their own writing
Other Applications of Text-to-Speech
Speech synthesis has long been a vital assistive technology tool and its application in this area is significant and widespread. It allows environmental barriers to be removed for people with a wide range of disabilities. The longest application has been in the use of screen readers for people with visual impairment, but text-to-speech systems are now commonly used by people with dyslexia and other reading difficulties as well as by pre-literate children. They are also frequently employed to aid those with severe speech impairment usually through a dedicated voice output communication aid.
Speech synthesis techniques are also used in entertainment productions such as games and animations. In 2007, Animo Limited announced the development of a software application package based on its speech synthesis software FineSpeech, explicitly geared towards customers in the entertainment industries, able to generate narration and lines of dialogue according to user specifications. The application reached maturity in 2008, when NEC Biglobe announced a web service that allows users to create phrases from the voices of Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 characters.
In recent years, Text to Speech for disability and handicapped communication aids have become widely deployed in Mass Transit. Text to Speech is also finding new applications outside the disability market. For example, speech synthesis, combined with speech recognition, allows for interaction with mobile devices via natural language processing interfaces.
Text-to speech is also used in second language acquisition. Voki, for instance, is an educational tool created by Oddcast that allows users to create their own talking avatar, using different accents. They can be emailed, embedded on websites or shared on social media.
In addition, speech synthesis is a valuable computational aid for the analysis and assessment of speech disorders. A voice quality synthesizer, developed by Jorge C. Lucero et al. at University of Brasilia, simulates the physics of phonation and includes models of vocal frequency jitter and tremor, airflow noise and laryngeal asymmetries. The synthesizer has been used to mimic the timbre of dysphonic speakers with controlled levels of roughness, breathiness and strain.