by April 12, 2002 0 comments

Sound is usually the domain of audio freaks. CD ripping, DJing, mixing, adding special effects…. But is that what sound is all about? Can I, working in an office, use sound other than for entertainment? Here is what we think. And we especially recommend our story on getting content from the Web and streaming it on an intranet

How Text-to-Speech Works
The text that you type is matched against acoustic data to generate phonemes. These are converted to speech wave forms that your PC speaks out
Get from Web. Stream on Intranet
Developed by PCQuest, this is a concept to aggregate content from the Web, convert it to speech and stream it over an intranet
Audio on your Intranet
Tired of taking down minutes in meetings? Maybe it’s time to stream it over your Intranet
Office
Apps can Sound Good

Add sound in Word and PowerPoint applications
Speech-recognition Tech
The technology behind speech recognition
Speak to Office XP
Speech recognition comes bundled with Office XP and lets you dictate text and access menu items using your voice

Audio in Mobiles
Where it’s reached, and where it’s expected to head

If you’ve noticed, the latest MS Office avatar, Office XP talks extensively of speech-recognition capabilities. Before Windows and Office XP, one could have speech-synthesis capabilities in Win 2000 (with an add-on called Microsoft Agent). One could download and install voices, characters and the speech engine. Alongside, applications like Dragon Naturally Speaking, IBM’s ViaVoice have existed for quite some time now. Agreed that the actual implementation might not been so extensive, but then people were, and still are, working on improving the technologies and their engines. Elsewhere, Apple had already successfully incorporated speech in its amazing PowerMacs and iMacs. These can talk to you naturally and even politely tell you if they are facing a problem!

Extending the scope of speech outside the desktop, we already see implementations of interactive speech response systems, which are a step ahead of the existing IVRs (Interactive Voice Response). These systems can be implemented over phones or as information kiosks at airports or exhibitions.

The articles in this story will take you through possible applications of sound at your workplace. The story is divided into two sections– the first deals with speech synthesis while the second with speech recognition. We also have some bit about futuristic technology like audio applications in mobile devices. In both sections, you’ll find the explanation and applications of these technologies. You’ll also find some of the most useful speech tools on this month’s CD.

So read on and see how man and machine can talk and understand each other.

Ashish Sharma

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