Speech Technology Magazine


Aculab Releases Latest Text-to-speech Software at SpeechTEK 2002

MILTON KEYNES, UK - Aculab will unveil and demonstrate at SpeechTek 2002, the latest version of its much acclaimed host based text to speech (TTS) software.
Posted Oct 1, 2002
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MILTON KEYNES, UK - Aculab, a provider of enabling technology for the communications market, will unveil and demonstrate at SpeechTek 2002, the latest version of its much acclaimed host based text to speech (TTS) software. This gives an opportunity for developers to enhance their telephony applications and gain competitive advantage. Now supporting the W3C standard speech synthesis mark-up language (SSML) as well as offering new languages, new voices and a talking lexicon tool, Aculab TTS V3.0 enables developers to gain entry into new market sectors and create new revenue streams. Aculab TTS offers improved accuracy and pronunciation and features full release versions of Brazilian Portuguese and Italian as well as new British English male and Spanish female voices. Aculab TTS also brings benefits such non-declarative intonation, allowing interrogative statements to be produced, as product manager at Aculab, Ian Colville points out. "With TTS V3.0, the right intonation can be given to a phrase to make it sound like a question rather than a statement - for example - 'You want a ticket to Denver?'" he says. "You can also have phonetic transcription, which allows you to add a tag to the text to provide the correct pronunciation of an ambiguous word," he explains. "For example - that the name 'Smyth" should be pronounced "Smith" - and not "Smythe". Aculab TTS V3.0 also brings improved text normalization and enhanced email pre-processing. "For example, the sequence of numbers '10-4' can be stated as 'ten four', 'ten minus four', 'fourth of October' or 'tenth of April' with the addition of simple tags," points out Ian Colville. Aculab's support of SSML also allows systems integrators and developers to change voice or language within the text, as well as control pitch, speech rate, intonation and emphasis. "These features are particularly useful when combining synthesised speech with pre-recorded speech, or customising voices for specific target audiences," says Ian Colville. Aculab's TTS V3.0 also automatically provides the prosodic phrases for each sentence, whatever the language, creating intonation contours and assigning an appropriate duration to each sound. Aculab's host based TTS is a concatenative speech synthesis system that has a small memory footprint and presents a high channel count to developers. Aculab TTS uses client/server architecture and works in conjunction with Aculab's Prosody digital signal processor (DSP) resource cards, which are used for audio replay and other simultaneous DSP resource functions such as echo cancellation. As a result, developers can enhance the performance of their telephony applications, combining TTS with speech recognition and separate speech processing algorithms through the generic Aculab application programming interface (API). "Because Aculab's unique method of software distribution allows developers to download software with a cost free licence from our website, they can readily achieve targets in an extremely cost effective manner," Ian Colville concluded. If you would like further information on Aculab TTS Aculab representatives will be available at SpeechTek 30-31st October 2002, on stand number 205, New York Marriott Marquis Hotel, New York,.
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