Thursday, August 18, 2016

Speech Central - an iPod for text to speech technology

Text to speech technology is available for so long time. During its evolution it became reliable and usable, so much that at some points you can't make difference between synthetic speech and real human speech. Still, you can't say large percent of population uses this technology, although its benefits are more than obvious.

But the same situation was with MP3 players - they were clearly ahead of CDs and audio tapes but still most people used the latter. And then came the iPod and changed everything. From the technology point, it was nothing new. But from the  human-machine interaction point, it was a revolution. It enabled most people to interact with MP3 technology in a meaningful way.

Speech Central is the app that raises the bar for text to speech to the level where you can really enjoy it. Most of the text speech apps are heavily dependent on the interaction with the screen, which pretty much breaks down their usability cases - you need to set up everything in advance to use the app on the go and as we all no we don't do that well.

But Speech Central doesn't need screen at all except for the initial settings - after you set up the sources for headlines (and it can be any web site), you can just enjoy browsing those sites when you are running, commuting, doing house work or any other moment when you can't really reach the screen.