Consumers Embrace Speech to Improve Smartphone Functionality

SVOX, a specialist in embedded speech solutions, has revealed that text-to-speech voices are in high demand on mobile devices, based on the number of SVOX Classic Text-To-Speech engines downloaded in the Android market since being released in July 2010. The application has been downloaded more than 340,000 times, and the statistics show that consumers overwhelmingly prefer female text-to-speech voices over the male alternatives.

Of all of the voices downloaded around the world, 81 percent of those selected are female voices, and only 19 percent are male. English speakers showed the most bias towards female voices, with 84 percent opting for female voices and 16 percent choosing male voices. Male voices were most favored by consumers in Germany, with 36 percent selecting the male “Markus” voice over the female “Petra” voice.

SVOX has 40 voices in 26 languages available in the market, but has seen that voices in English have been by far the most popular of all the languages downloaded, with U.S. English coming out ahead of U.K. English in the number of downloads.  The top 10 languages downloaded are as follows:

1. U.S. English -- 29.9 percent.
2. U.K. English -- 21.1 percent.
3. Russian -- 6.7 percent.
4. French -- 6 percent.
5. German -- 5.4 percent.
6. Spanish -- 5.4 percent.
7. Czech -- 3 percent.
8. Mandarin Chinese -- 2.9 percent.
9. Brazilian Portuguese -- 2.7 percent.
10. Italian -- 2.6 percent.

"The popularity of our text-to-speech offering has indicated a real consumer desire for high-quality, natural-sounding voices on mobile phones," said Martin Reber, CEO of SVOX. "Android users can download SVOX voices for a wide variety of uses, including navigation applications, e-book reading, speech-to-speech translation, language learning, and games. The feedback from users has been extremely positive, with many people commenting on how human-like the voices sound across the wide variety of languages.

"In addition to the great interest from consumers, it’'s exciting to see that more and more Android and iPhone application developers are looking to integrate SVOX text-to-speech and speech recognition into mobile apps," Reber continued. "Voice interaction with mobiles is helping to increase safety, functionality, and accessibility of sophisticated smartphones when users are simultaneously performing other tasks that require the use of their hands and eyes."

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