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Talklets service brings an added dimension to the Internet with automatic conversion of text to streaming audio

16th July 2008, Maidenhead, UK – Textic Limited, the text to speech solutions specialist, today announced the commercial launch of Talklets, the Web 2.0 service that ‘voice enables’ text-based Web content. Talklets allows companies and organisations to offer website visitors the option to have text ‘read’ to them immediately in a range of natural voices, or converted to an MP3 file for consumption at another time, and on any compatible device.

Unlike first generation text to speech (TTS) implementations that require users to download a software application, Talklets is the industry’s first commercial software as a service (SaaS) model for TTS. Website owners simply need to insert a few lines of code into the web pages they wish to voice enable to create the necessary links to Textic’s server platform, which then dynamically converts selected text to a streaming audio file. With minimal time lag, typically within one second, the user hears the text read to them by one of a number of predefined voices which closely approximate natural speech. Alternatively, the user can opt to have the selected text converted to an MP3 file which is then downloaded and saved for later use or transferred to, for example, an iPod or mobile phone. Bespoke implementations allow for the development of brand-specific voices which are developed by sampling an individual’s speech patterns.

The launch of Talklets is preceded by three years of research and development, culminating in technical and user trials earlier in 2008. The commercial launch will be headed by newly appointed CEO Paul Ayres, who previously launched both Netscape and RealNetworks in the European market.

Paul Ayres commented, “The obvious use of the Talklets service is to satisfy increasingly stringent accessibility requirements which are mandated in legislation around the world. However, stopping there ignores the significant revenue generating opportunities available. Something like 80% of the data consumed on the Web is text and it’s only available now if you’re in front of a readable screen or if it’s printed. Talklets is designed to extract that text and deliver it in a form that meets the increasing demand for anytime, anywhere, any device access to information.

“Website owners need to start thinking how they can use Talklets to extract maximum value from the text based assets they have invested in. The combination of the software as a service model and natural speech means that services can be delivered effortlessly and be completely brand specific. There’s no reason why we couldn’t have Murray Walker voicing motor racing sites, David Frost reading news portals or Kate Moss reading fashion tips. The initial indications we have from our trials suggest that making text more flexible and accessible offers considerable long term benefits by attracting new audiences, increasing engagement and extending user ‘stickiness’.”

Talklets implementations are available for small and medium sized businesses, enterprises, public sector organisations and OEMs. Flexible pricing models relate to site traffic and the level of customisation required. For companies operating in multiple geographies, Textic offers a range of male and female voices in major languages including English (UK & US), French, Dutch, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Polish, Greek and Welsh.

Ends

For further information please contact:

Katharine Simon, Babel PR
E. katharine@babelpr.com or textic@babelpr.com
T. +44 (0) 20 7434 5550
W. www.babelpr.com

About Textic

Established in 2004, Textic Ltd is a specialist in the provision of text to speech (TTS) solutions that give a voice to the written word - on the web, on intranets and extranets, and on mobile phones. The company has developed a range of technologies that bring text based services to life with automated, immediate and realistic conversion to speech delivered as a service. Textic’s customers use those technologies to meet statutory accessibility requirements, and to develop compelling new services that generate new revenue streams by significantly enhance user choice and interaction.

www.textic.com

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