Speech Technology Magazine

 

BT Selects Nuance to Deliver Text-to-Speech Voice for New Voice Text Service

Posted Feb 28, 2006
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LONDON, & GHENT, Belgium — BT group selected Nuance's RealSpeak™ technology to develop the voice for BT's new Voice Text Service. For the next three months, Tom Baker's voice will be used to translate text into voice messages on a landline. In a recent poll of celebrity voices, his was voted the fourth most recognizable voice in the U.K., behind the Queen, Tony Blair and Margaret Thatcher.

Nuance's RealSpeak™ technology converts text messages into speech output using recordings of the former doctor, and allows people registered to use BT Text on their landline and mobile phone users to send SMS messages to landline users, who could otherwise not receive the messages. The service also recognizes common text abbreviations such as "gr8" and will translate "xx" into "kiss kiss," while "xxxx" is "loads of kisses."

Gavin Patterson, BT group managing director, consumer: "Tom Baker spent 11-days recording, covering every sound in the English language. We selected Baker's voice because it's one of the most famous British voices. The service has already proved very popular, and we have seen a 70 percent surge in its use in the first week following Tom's debut."

Nuance offers RealSpeak™ in a total of 27 languages with 36 different voices and personalities - 14 of which were released over just the past 18 months.

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