Rhetorical's rVoice To Be Used on New Zealand's MetPhone Service.
EDINBURGH, UNITED KINGDOM - Rhetorical has won a contract which will see its technology deployed on New Zealand's dial up weather forecast service, MetPhone. The deal demonstrates the ability of Rhetorical's rVoice product to pronounce complex terminology and the power of text-to-speech technology in practical situations. The MetPhone service is important to New Zealand's 4 million citizens whose geographical location means weather can be fairly extreme. Many people also make their living from farming or fishing so an accurate and up-to-date weather forecast is vital on a day-to-day, even hourly, basis. Stephen Harris, Operations Manager at New Zealand MetService explained: "We spent two years looking for a solution and had spent 9 months trailing several products before we discovered rVoice and Rhetorical. It was the best choice for us because it had the most natural sounding voice, the price was right and our listener surveys showed people liked it. The ability to run on either Windows 2000 or Linux was also a bonus because it made the system easier to set up. rVoiceTM has made a big difference to our service. We've noticed an immediate increase in efficiency; rVoice can process text files up to 20 times faster than a human voice loader. Our target used to be for each file to be uploaded within 15 minutes of it being created. With the rVoice system the time has been slashed to under 5 minutes. This makes a big difference to the end user." This increase in productivity is not just through improved efficiency but also accuracy. When the product was first trialed the names of New Zealand's towns and cities were a noticeable stumbling block. rVoice is able to make accurate judgements on pronunciation and is correct in 85 percent of cases. Initially though New Zealand's place names provided their own, unique problems as many of them are of Maori origin.