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Force announces Linux text-to-speech support

Oct 26, 2000 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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San Jose, CA — (press release excerpt) — Force Computers today announced it will support the Linux operating system on its DECtalk Text-To-Speech (TTS) speech synthesis technology for StrongARM and Intel (X86) processor-based wireless devices. By supporting DECtalk on StrongARM and Intel architecture-based platforms running Linux, Force makes the robust functionality of TTS technology available to an… entirely new category of portable computing and communications applications, including personal digital assistants (PDAs), laptop computers, wireless phones and car navigation systems.

“DECtalk TTS technology offers users natural-sounding, highly intelligible speech, which transforms ordinary text into the highest quality level of speech,” said Dr. Corine Bickley, Force senior speech technologist. “Linux support on DECtalk for StrongARM and Intel processors will extend TTS deeper into the wireless market for roaming Internet use, email reading and other hands-free, eyes-free text-to-speech applications. Currently, DECtalk supports U.S. English, U.K. English, Latin American Spanish, Castillian Spanish and German. Going forward, Force intends to offer speech synthesis for additional European languages, as well as Asian languages.”

DECtalk TTS technology enables computers to speak via third-party applications. It takes plain computer text from existing or new applications and outputs natural-sounding, highly intelligible speech. DECtalk technology can provide the correct pronunciation of single characters, words, phrases and proper names. DECtalk supports:

  • Multi-language synthesis
  • Nine defined voice personalities (four female, four male, and one child)
  • Speech controls and variable speaking rates
  • Large internal (fixed) and OEM/VAR defined dictionaries
  • Ability to say ethnicity-specific proper names
  • Generation of DTMF tones for dialing or tones of a specified frequency/duration
DECtalk technology is licensed as software for embedded or value-added software solutions for third-party applications running on Linux and several other OSes. The technology is also available on Force's hardware platforms, DECtalk PC2 (an internal ISA bus PC module) and DECtalk Express, a self-contained portable unit that connects to a serial connector on a PC. Board-only versions are available for OEM applications. DECtalk TTS has been owned, developed and supported by Force Computers since January 2000.

 
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