2006 Conference General Sessions



John Rye
Dolphin Computer Access
Technology House
Worcester, Worcestershire WR3 8TJ
United Kingdom
Day Phone: +44 (0)1905 751540
Fax: +44 (0) 1905 754879
Email: john.rye@dolphinoceanic.com

This paper reviews some recent developments in Text to Speech synthesis at Dolphin.  It will be of interest to those concerned with improving the experience, at work, and at home, for people who use speech as part of their primary access tool.  The latest Orpheus version 2, speech synthesizer includes the ability to speak with more natural sounding, concatenative voices, alongside the familiar synthetic voices; Orpheus is unique in including both types of voice in the same engine.  Concatenative voices are suitable for many applications beyond use by blind and visually impaired computer users.  They are often deemed easier to listen to, especially by intermittent users of speech.  The synthetic voices on the other hand, use little memory, are responsive and are intelligible at the fast talking rates often used by blind and visually impaired computer users.  
Their use can aid efficiency in many tasks for instance, in response to the demand for speech on portable devices; Dolphin has ported the Orpheus version 2 to Windows CE. Orpheus for Windows CE is now available from Dolphin as an SDK, and will be demonstrated on industry standard PDAs running Windows Mobile 2003 talking applications.

About the company
Dolphin has a simple goal: to create software products that allow people with a vision impairment to use mainstream information technology.  With proven expertise in screen reading with speech and Braille, screen magnification and products in many languages, Dolphin is constantly developing new technologies. Founded in 1986 in the United Kingdom, Dolphin is now one of the largest dedicated access software companies in the world, with offices in the UK, USA and Sweden. Dolphin’s product range encompasses access software, digital audio publishing technology and specialist education solutions.

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