Speech Technology Magazine

 

A Voice Comes to Facebook

Android app lets users broadcast their Facebook news feed and talk back, all by voice.
Posted Jul 25, 2012
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Android device owners can now access, listen to, and post status updates and comments, all by voice, to their Facebook news feed via Friends Aloud, created by VoiZapp.

Friends Aloud brings reading aloud technology to Facebook, and has been optimized to take advantage of Android's built-in automated speech recognition capabilities.

Using Friends Aloud, users can:

  • Read aloud their latest Facebook news feed posts and their associated comments in a pleasant, easy-to-understand voice;
  • Dictate status updates, comments, and "like" friends' posts with Android's built-in automatic speech recognition, complete with punctuation;
  • Tap a keyboard icon to bring up a text entry screen to enter status updates and comments;
  • Scroll through each post on screen or tap around to read posts at random;
  • Automatically switch between reading existing posts in sequence or just reading new posts as they arrive for as long as desired;
  • Play, pause, and skip forward/back;
  • Continue reading aloud while in the background;
  • Understand and read common computer jargon such as emoticons and texting-style abbreviations like LOL; and
  • Choose to limit the number of comments read aloud.

"Facebook has become an integral part of peoples' lives, and mobile has fundamentally changed the way they access and use social networking services," said Robert Wesson, Voizapp's CEO, in a statement. "You can now stay in touch with your Facebook friends while safely driving, walking, exercising—anywhere your eyes are otherwise occupied. And you can dictate your own posts and comments without needing to type anything at all. In short, you can have a complete Facebook experience by voice."

Friends Aloud can be downloaded from Google Play for a one-time charge of $1.99. It's a complete ad-free audio/visual mobile Facebook experience that reads new posts and comments aloud as they arrive all day long, and will allow you to "talk back" to your Facebook friends.

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