On the right part of the screen above this article is a little hyperlink - “listen”. Push it …
This is frankly really cool. Text-to-speech (TTS) applications have been around for some time (indeed, chances are pretty good that you have a TTS system, either Microsoft’s SAPI in Windows, H&L’s text to speech, Dragon Naturally speaking, or Festival in the Linux world (I’m sure there’s an equivalent on the Mac side, but don’t know off hand what it is), but the idea of putting a decent TTS generator and passing in web content to it to be transcribed and broadcast through Flash is one I’ve not seen done to any great degree before.
The quality of the voice transcription is surprisingly good, although I would prefer the ability to customize the voice on output (I’m sure it exists, just a question of setting it). However, it also showcases just how readily we’re making the jump to a world where our computers talk to us and we to them, just another medium of exchange.
No profound thoughts here, just wanted to make people sit up and notice a cool toy.
– Kurt Cagle