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RE: TTS from web content?

From: Victor Tsaran <vtsaran@yahoo-inc.com>
Date: Thu, 19 Aug 2010 16:27:01 -0500
To: David Bolter <david.bolter@gmail.com>, "wai-xtech@w3.org" <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Message-ID: <03D67237123001448E3C58D3B562D5452A3FA8D1@SP2-EX07VS04.ds.corp.yahoo.com>
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? :)

-----Original Message-----
From: 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.

Received on Thursday, 19 August 2010 21:29:29 UTC

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