What is Text To Speech?
A form of assistive technology, Text To Speech or TTS refers to any software that can convert inputted text into spoken audio. Along with Speech To Text (or STT), Text To Speech is a component of Natural Language Processing (NLP), which enables translations between human and computer languages. As NLP centres around breaking down the elements of human speech and rendering it understandable to a computer, TTS is an example of how this science is moving everyday technology forward with functions that are useful to an ever-growing audience.
One of the most innovative of these public-facing services is Amazon Polly, which has been marketed as lifelike Text To Speech technology for developers creating mobile applications, e-learning platforms, games and more. Offered alongside its counterpart Amazon Lex, a chatbot building service, Amazon Polly is an example of how mainstream Text To Speech will become, with healthcare being a key industry that will benefit hugely.
What can Text To Speech do?
A simple idea, but with an expanding number of possibilities, Text To Speech is able to read aloud written content that appears onscreen. TTS has an appeal to a wide array of services and individuals alike, as its usage can vary from convenience, to practicality, and accessibility too. Featured in almost all smartphones, one of Text To Speech’s most significant benefits lies in how it can assist a visually impaired user to engage with features that could otherwise be unavailable to them. TTS can be paired with web pages, emails, mobile communications and more, allowing it to provide almost universal access to technology that many can use without hindrance. Other applications of Text To Speech include allowing smartphone users to listen to their digital content (such as playing aloud text messages while driving) and TTS technology has also been used in software that reads back writing to users with dyslexia.
Offering productivity and diversity in healthcare
Beyond its accessibility features, Text To Speech can also allow employees to continue to receive critical information when being at a screen is impractical, particularly relevant in certain healthcare positions. Offering a chance for staff members to continue their workflow organically and with greater practicality can enable a team to grow more efficient and effective, while supporting employees that would benefit from Text To Speech’s accessibility functions can create a more diverse workplace too.