Using Smartphone Technology to Bring Intelligent Text-to-Speech to the Nonverbal Disabled CommunityBy Cramer, Ken; Campelli, Matt; RESNA 2012 Student Design Competition,
Publication Date: June 13, 2012
Paper outlines the development of an application that turns an iPhone or iPod touch into a text-to-speech device. The application was developed for a client with a speech disability and hemiplegia following a spinal cord injury. The app has built-in smart word suggestion, the ability to save and recall useful sentences, and a configurable speech synthesis voice. The user will type in text via the onscreen keyboard that is standard with all iOS devices. The app then processes the text through a set of modules to achieve the desired outcome. The app’s Settings module lets the user control the speech synthesis engine, allowing changes to speed and pitch of the voice used by the text-to-speech module. The text-to-speech module makes use of Carnegie-Mellon University’s Flite speech synthesis engine. Sam Foster’s iOS Flite wrapper (https://bitbucket.org/sfoster/iphone-tts/) is used to integrate the library with the iOS platform. The Favorites module allows the user to save sentences to the device’s hard disk for playback later. The audible Suggestion module, driven by a dictionary that updates itself as it learns the vocabulary of the user, tries to guess the next word that the user wishes to write. The app was evaluated extensively for usability, ending with the client using it to communicate for half a day. The text-to-speech app was developed by engineering students at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. It can be downloaded free of charge at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/assistive-tts/id16399768?ls=1&mt=8.
Published by: Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) (Website:http://www.resna.org)
Rehabilitation Engineering & Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) (Web Site: http://www.resna.org )
Link to text: http://aac-rerc.psu.edu/wordpressmu/RESNA-SDC/2012/06/13/using-smartphone-technology-to-bring-intelligent-text-to-speech-to-the-nonverbal-disabled-community-umass-lowell/