W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > wai-xtech@w3.org > August 2010

RE: TTS from web content?

From: Sina Bahram <sbahram@nc.rr.com>
Date: Thu, 26 Aug 2010 10:57:47 -0400
To: "'Richard Schwerdtfeger'" <schwer@us.ibm.com>
Cc: "'David Bolter'" <david.bolter@gmail.com>, "'Léonie Watson'" <lwatson@nomensa.com>, "'Victor Tsaran'" <vtsaran@yahoo-inc.com>, <wai-xtech@w3.org>, <wai-xtech-request@w3.org>
Message-ID: <376AE38078EB43D2B79EC2CD2A4C3999@tachyon>
I definitely agree with this.

Take care,
Sina

________________________________

From: wai-xtech-request@w3.org [mailto:wai-xtech-request@w3.org] On Behalf Of Richard Schwerdtfeger
Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2010 9:59 AM
To: Sina Bahram
Cc: 'David Bolter'; 'Léonie Watson'; 'Victor Tsaran'; wai-xtech@w3.org; wai-xtech-request@w3.org
Subject: RE: TTS from web content?


Hi Sina, 

Today, there are tools that access the web page in the cloud and read it. What they are currently doing is converting text to audio
streams and sending those to the client. This is not very performant. If we did have access to TTS via the browser it would operate
much faster. 

I should note that this solution would not be solely for screen reading. IBM has developed solutions like WebAdapt2Me that allows
seniors to highlight text to be spoken. Another use case would be cognitive and/or reading impaired users (a much larger group than
blind and low vision) which would benefit from the ability to highlight and read text on the page. 

Could we create self voicing applications - sure. Although that may depend on the disposition of DOM Mutation events and a
replacement down the road. We will have to see. 

The big barrier to all this has been browser security. Unless you had a plug-in you could not get to these features. A standard
script API would put things in the hands of the developer. 

I think putting TTS API support in the browser is a win. 

Rich 

Rich Schwerdtfeger
CTO Accessibility Software Group 



From:        "Sina Bahram" <sbahram@nc.rr.com> 
To:        "'Léonie Watson'" <lwatson@nomensa.com>, "'Victor Tsaran'" <vtsaran@yahoo-inc.com>, "'David Bolter'"
<david.bolter@gmail.com>, <wai-xtech@w3.org> 
Date:        08/20/2010 09:52 AM 
Subject:        RE: TTS from web content? 
Sent by:        wai-xtech-request@w3.org 

________________________________




I could imagine a system where the JS access to the TTS is shared across a consistent priority model to that same TTS by the screen
reader, so that both can interact with it successfully; however, use concepts of priority, interrupt ability, blocking, and so on to
facilitate a seamless interaction.

This does however bring up the classic argument over self voicing versus screen reading; however, to that end it's imaginable that
one can have a hybrid approach whereby including a simple .js file from somewhere else on the web, suddenly enables your application
to speak, and that .js file could either contain self voicing capabilities or a screen reader of sorts.

Take care,
Sina

-----Original Message-----
From: wai-xtech-request@w3.org [mailto:wai-xtech-request@w3.org <mailto:wai-xtech-request@w3.org> ] On Behalf Of Léonie Watson
Sent: Friday, August 20, 2010 4:02 AM
To: Victor Tsaran; David Bolter; wai-xtech@w3.org
Subject: RE: TTS from web content?

"I think this would be a great addition to the realm of existing assistive technologies. Having Javascript API access to the OS's
built-in TTS would enable us to generate audio descriptions for videos directly from the web page in conjunction with ARIA live
regions, for example. Such a capability should be togglable by the user and/or disabled if a screen reader is detected (although a
shortcut key-based approach may be sufficient)."

                Agreed, it really would open up some terrific possibilities. Handling the relationship with screen readers will
certainly be
a challenge, as I can imagine times when both/neither would be desirable from the user's point of view.


Regards,
Léonie.

--
Nomensa - humanising technology

Léonie Watson            |  Director of Accessibility
t. +44 (0)117 929 7333    


-----Original Message-----
From: wai-xtech-request@w3.org [mailto:wai-xtech-request@w3.org <mailto:wai-xtech-request@w3.org> ] On Behalf Of Victor Tsaran
Sent: 19 August 2010 22:27
To: David Bolter; wai-xtech@w3.org
Subject: RE: TTS from web content?

Hi David,
I think this would be a great addition to the realm of existing assistive technologies. Having Javascript API access to the OS's
built-in TTS would enable us to generate audio descriptions for videos directly from the web page in conjunction with ARIA live
regions, for example. Such a capability should be togglable by the user and/or disabled if a screen reader is detected (although a
shortcut key-based approach may be sufficient). The power of this feature will depend on how many of OS's built-in TTS properties
will be exposed by the browser to the Javascript developer, eg voice rate, tone, pitch, voice, person, volume etc.

Is Firefox going to be one such browser? :) Thanks, Victor

-----Original Message-----
From: wai-xtech-request@w3.org [mailto:wai-xtech-request@w3.org <mailto:wai-xtech-request@w3.org> ] On Behalf Of David Bolter
Sent: Thursday, August 19, 2010 8:22 AM
To: wai-xtech@w3.org
Subject: TTS from web content?

 Hi all,

What do you think about having browsers provide built-in text-to-speech capability to web content? While I imagine a declarative
approach might be quite interesting I think we can go farther faster with a JavaScript API approach. The main two concerns I have
are:

1. We don't want to encourage unpolished aural interfaces.
2. We don't want to conflict with traditional screen readers.

The biggest potential I see is:

1. Innovation in Aural interfaces. The same kind of innovation we see happening in visual DHTML interfaces.
2. TTS solutions in places, and on devices where traditional screen readers are problematic. For example, perhaps on some mobile
devices that are currently not accessible.
3. The TTS can be done in the browser, on the native platform (e.g. 
Voice Over on OSX), or 'in the cloud'. We just need to get the API right.

Are we ready? Please speak up.

cheers,
David
Received on Thursday, 26 August 2010 14:59:04 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Friday, 27 April 2012 13:16:10 GMT