Feeds

BT automates talking book production

It's good to talk

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

New hybrid storage solutions

Blind and partially sighted people in the UK could soon have better access to a wider variety of books and publications thanks to a prototype voice synthesiser developed by BT.

The software, dubbed Laureate, will work in conjunction with EasePublisher, an application that converts plain text to electronically navigable books, to create talking books and magazines.

Traditionally this process is very time and cost intensive, calling on the services of professional actors to record the text. While this is reasonable for blockbuster novels like Bridget Jones or Harry Potter, it is less practical for magazines or periodicals, BT points out. The company says Laureate's synthetic male and female voices can add enough intonation automatically for the production of audio versions of this more "work-a-day reading matter".

The technology is based on an industry standard audio mark-up language called DAISY that can combine text, audio and image files into a digital talking book. Text is highlighted in real time as the audio file is played back.

The project was run in conjunction with Dolphin Computer Access, the National Library for the Blind (NLB) and with the backing of the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB). The technology is currently being trialled by 400 people, and BT says the early results are "very encouraging". ®

Related stories

PLCs hit back at complaints on web accessibility
Web inaccessibility 'creates net underclass'
WiderWeb promises accessible net

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.