AT&T Natural Voices to Be Used in Weather Warning Services

The Weather Radio Improvement Program (WRIP) previously awarded to CommPower in 2009 is proceeding well and is in the licensing phase to deploy AT&T Natural Voices beginning in fall 2011.

The WRIP covers development, deployment and support for a nationwide (and beyond) dissemination system that rapidly and reliably delivers around-the-clock weather, all-hazards and other emergency information, as well as live audio emergency announcements to the public, media, law enforcement and local/state emergency managers. The Program will enhance the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Weather Service (NWS) that provides weather forecasts, watches, warnings, and other emergency messages to the public and emergency managers via the NOAA Weather Radio/All-Hazards (NWR) system and NOAA Weather Wire Service (NWWS).

The Program uses AT&T Natural Voices technology throughout: at each transmitter site for FM broadcast, in the Weather Forecast office in support of phone trees and at each NWS Web farm in support of informing the public via the Internet. “Progress has been excellent,” says Kathy Nuckles, CEO and president of CommPower. “We are currently at the tail end of the development phase with WRIP and already it is evident that the system is exceeding expectations on many levels.”

All transmitter sites will support dynamic English and Spanish broadcasts driven by language indicators within the various weather/warning products and no manual switching or re-configuration will be required. When fully deployed, WRIP will include 2,500 computers consisting of desktop, server and embedded processor types, and the TTS engine will run in all configurations. “It is simply wonderful to see AT&T Natural Voices become an integral part of such an important public service,” said Bruce Phifer, general manager of technology and seatrvices  Wizzard Software. “We have thoroughly enjoyed supporting the CommPower team as they integrate this excellent voice technology into NOAA Weather Radio.”

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