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RE: TTS from web content?

From: Cain, Sally <sally.cain@rnib.org.uk>
Date: Mon, 23 Aug 2010 10:14:41 +0100
Message-ID: <F97D739047BF10458C2A6E71D8E5100B0336452D@brmmsx02.ads.rnib.org.uk>
To: "David Bolter" <david.bolter@gmail.com>, <wai-xtech@w3.org>
Hi all,

Everyone has been discussing the technical issues here which of course
are really important. However I think it is also important that we
consider the practical issues too. Just to play devil's advocate...
where would this sit in the market? Who would use it? Is the amount of
work that is required worth it for the amount of people who would use

The answer to all of my questions may be that it would be used loads and
yes it is well worth it. However from the perspective of blind and
partially sighted people if you are using a screen reader, you will
probably continue to use your screen reader rather than change to using
the speech within the page. So I think it is important to think about
the other people who might want to use it. Possibly one example would be
those with dyslexia or other learning difficulties. If they are
struggling with a page then speech would help them with the content.

However I do support the two main concerns that David has around quality
and clashing with screen readers.


-----Original Message-----
From: wai-xtech-request@w3.org [mailto:wai-xtech-request@w3.org] On
Behalf Of David Bolter
Sent: 19 August 2010 16:22
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

Are we ready? Please speak up.


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Received on Monday, 23 August 2010 09:15:31 UTC

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