Serotek Selects AT&T Labs Natural Voices for Its New Freedom Box Product Line
FLORHAM PARK, NJ - AT&T Labs announced that it has signed an agreement to provide AT&T Labs' Natural Voices Text-to-Speech Engine to Minneapolis-based Serotek Corporation for its Freedom Box Internet accessibility product line and its Freedom Box Network online community. The Freedom Box Internet accessibility product is a conversational Internet interface that allows users to access the Internet and operate computers using voice commands alone. The Freedom Box Network is a full-service Internet Service Provider (ISP) and custom-designed online network community focused on the interests and needs of people with disabilities. The Freedom Box Network removes many barriers to Internet use and provides custom content so users with visual disabilities don't have to visit text-based Web sites. If users want to surf beyond Freedom Box's custom network, they can still listen to Web-based content because the ISP automatically converts text to Voice Extensible Markup Language. Freedom Box is a "conversational" Web interface that tells users the choices they have and describes exactly what is available on a Web page using AT&T Labs Natural Voices text-to-speech engine. If the Web page has links to other pages, Freedom Box can turn those links into an audio menu that it reads aloud. Users tell the Freedom Box which link to take. If users get confused they can simply say "Back" or if an explanation is needed, they can say "Help" and Freedom Box will explain the current Web page and what choices are available. Freedom Box users can access the Web to check electronic mail, shop online, retrieve news, whether, sports and stock information and even participate in chat rooms. "The natural-sounding quality of AT&T Labs Natural Voices text-to-speech engine will help alleviate the fatigue often associated with listening to robotic-sounding voices over long periods of time," said Michael Calvo, president and chief executive officer of Serotek Corporation. "The AT&T speech engine offers us the best choice for easy integration with our Freedom Box products." The Freedom Box is offered in three different accessibility product packages including: PC software for qualified personal computers, a plug-and-play Internet access device and a computer that will run virtually all applications customized for disability access. "The Freedom Box is a great product that will open up Internet access for many people with disabilities," said Lex McCusker, general manager of AT&T Labs Natural Voices products. "By selecting AT&T Labs' speech engine, Serotek has reaffirmed that we have the best product on the market to meet the rigorous needs of its customers." Information for this story was gathered from AT&T Labs.