Posted by Rob LeFebvre on January 23rd, 2013 + Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Created by 12-year-old Eric Zeiberg for his sister who has autism, HandySpeech converts handwriting in any one of 13 languages into speech, allowing folks without a voice to communicate simply by writing what they want to say down.
As an assisted speech technology application, HandySpeech supplements or even replaces speech for people with spoken language difficulties. The application helps people with speech or language impairments, including autism, stuttering, stroke, muscular dystrophy, oral, throat and neck cancer, and others.
There are a lot of Twitter clients out there all vying for everyone’s attention. Tweets Aloud does something a little special compared to the rest though: it allows users to stream their Twitter feed via text-to-speech voice technology thus allowing them to listen to their Twitter feed rather than read it.
A few advantages come about from this. Users can listen to their tweets much like a radio station while they’re exercising or doing other things while at the PC or at work. Other users can use it to save effort such as if they’re suffering from either a short term or long term disability that affects their mobility and they’d rather listen than navigate through the app. Those with visual impairments could also benefit.
Each tweet is read in an easy to understand young woman’s voice and users can quickly play, pause or skip forward or backwards just like when using an iPod. Even common jargon such as smiley faces or texting abbreviations can be converted appropriately so it still all makes sense.
Two versions of Tweets Aloud are available. A free/lite version allows users to read/listen to the latest 10 tweets alongside an ad-supported interface while the full version offers readings of up to 100 of the latest tweets. It’s priced at $1.99.
When I look at a touchscreen device, I often wonder to myself how someone with visual impairment would be able use it effectively. Imagine how dumb I felt when I discovered that upon closer examination the device is far more accessible than I could have ever thought. In fact, text-to-speech functionality has been crucial to expanding the audience of both the iPhone and especially the iPad. Unfortunately this feature is applied unevenly across third party apps, and can exclude the reading of email with anything other than the default Mail app, leaving those attempting to productively use a different client in somewhat of a difficult place.
Thankfully Linguatec Apps have seen this unique need and swiftly moved to fill in the gap with the release of their new tool, Voice Reader Text to Speech. All it takes is a simple copy and paste from your application of choice and Voice Reader will do all of the rest in countless different languages, voices and dialects. There are numerous different ways that an application like this could be useful. How do you think it could make your life easier?