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Re: TTS from web content?

From: Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2010 13:06:05 -0500
To: David Bolter <david.bolter@gmail.com>
Cc: wai-xtech@w3.org
Message-id: <3F50D993-7E71-4EC4-8778-279344F91456@trace.wisc.edu>
This is a real need and one that we are targeting in RtF and NPII as key issues.   

   The ability to get from the content to TTS on the platform  (eg content controlling a platform technology)  is the toughest part and will require both cooperation with/from Platform vendors and cross platform standards (to allow a web page to access TTS on different platforms). 

   For server based TTS we have some good models with WebAnywhere and other efforts.

   Also nice would be methods for finding the best speech for a situation from among any choices that exist for a web page downloaded to an arbitrary computer.  (e.g. would it be better to use what is on the device or in the browser or on the server?)

   I think we should put together the groups needed to explore this and take it beyond discussion phase.  The time is right.     We will need an explore group, a standards group and a commercial implementation group - probably with many of the same members but not completely.  Some are interested only in one or a couple of these. 

Gregg Vanderheiden Ph.D.
Director Trace R&D Center
Professor Industrial & Systems Engineering
and Biomedical Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison

On Aug 19, 2010, at 10:22 AM, David Bolter wrote:

> 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, 19 August 2010 18:06:42 UTC

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