A cashpoint that gives you verbals

'You have insufficient funds to get drunk. Go home'

Johnny Cab

Diebold, the US's largest maker of cashpoint machines, and electronic voting machines, is working with Scansoft to make its machines more useable by blind people.

The company is the second largest ATM maker in Europe. It has designed its latest machine, called Opteva, with the help of the US National Federation of the Blind.

But security concerns mean that blind customers will need to carry their own headphones. Rather than a speaker blasting out balance statements, visually-impaired punters will have to find the plug for their headphones.

Diebold has made talking machines before but they have used individual sound files. But cunning technology from Scansoft means they can now provide speech in up to six languages. Software converts text into voice so interfaces can be changed relatively easily, without re-recording lots of sound files.

More details on the Beeb here. ®

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