What is text to speech and how does it work?

Enhanced user experience is the prime priority of every business. Regardless of the underlying technology and cost, businesses are keen to facilitate smooth functioning. Whether it is a website, application, or an online-service, every aspect of digital life is developed based on a minimalist approach. Such a trend of rendering comfortability paves the way for text to speech assistive technology.

Text to Speech (TTS)- Read Aloud

Text to speech technology, commonly known as TTS, is the conversion of text into voice output. In the early days of TTS, it wasn't so efficient; however, the advent of deep learning entirely changed the scenario. As it stands, modern computers are capable of concatenating the speech from various databases. This speech or sound is synonymous with natural sounds and reacts to pitch, pronunciation, frequency, etc. Considering the fact that text to speech assistive technology excellently interprets the text and the associated speech constraints, it is widely employed by businesses to enhance the user experience.

One of the conspicuous technologies used for text to speech conversion is optical character recognition (OCR) that converts the text from the images or handwritten documents into machine-encoded text. This machine-encoded text can then be read aloud by the TTS tools. Prominent TTS tools encompass web-based tools, chrome tools, text-to-speech apps, text-to-speech software, etc. It is noteworthy that TTS is entirely computer-generated and therefore is suitable for working with every digital device capable of interaction, including computers, tablets, Smartphones, etc.

What are the benefits of TTS?

Text to speech benefits range from enhancing the user experience to optimizing the development processes. Organizations highly value text to speech readers, for these possess the capability to garner the target audience and intrigue them for more extended periods.

  1. Personalized user experience

    Have you ever thought of a technology that can read everything for you from news to a story? This is precisely what text to speech software facilitates. They minimize your workload and particularly increase the accessibility giving you an unimaginably excellent personalized experience.

  2. Comfortable development

    It is the era of scalable infrastructure and even flexible technologies. TTS is one of those that can be scaled according to the requirements and, at the same time, appended both on the cloud and on-premises. As a result, it saves the resources and reduces the workload that usually goes into the maintenance operations.

  3. Enhanced learning

    TTS is specifically beneficial for kids and students. Because kids comprehend more via visual and audio output, it becomes easier for them to retain and learn when text to speech software is at their disposal. This can indirectly and positively impact the soft skills such as confidence, creativity, etc.

  4. Integration with IoT

    Internet of Things is one of the most sought-after technologies, and rightly so. However, a much better user experience is provided when IoT is combined with TTS. This way, the IoT powered equipment is in the pole position to interact fruitfully with the users.

  5. Voice to publishers and customer service

    Publishing content never goes out of fashion. This is because it adapts to the changes in the environment. Some prominent content owners use text to speech converters to convert their articles, stories, or books into audio. Customer service centres, on the other hand, use TTS to allow high-quality conversation with the consumers.

What is conversational AI?

Because we are talking principally about text to speech assistive technology, it is essential that we lay emphasis on conversational AI. As the name suggests, conversational AI is a broad term directed towards the use of AI and automation technologies to build equipment that can convert text to speech. Amazon's Alexa is one of the most conspicuous examples serving this category.

Conversational AI is aimed at providing a personalized experience to the consumer. Most importantly, they offer two-way interaction. This is just like a Chabot. Instead, it is more of an audio-bot, which can satisfy your daily requirements.

According to the various surveys, it is messaging apps that are fuelling conversational AI. These include WhatsApp, Messenger, We Chat, Skype, Instagram, Telegram, Snapchat, Line, etc.

TTS/ Read Aloud with Google Assistant ‘Read it’

Google Assistant is one of the most famous and successful chatbots in the history of speech synthesis. Favourably, Google is further strengthening the assistant system by appending the ‘Read It’ feature. This will allow the Google Assistant to read aloud text in more than 40 languages.

Google also provides google cloud text to speech that can convert the text into a human-like voice in more than 180 sounds and 30+ languages variants. In addition to that, this cloud API can be implemented in any application or device like phones, tablets that are able to send REST or gRPC requests.

Now, you'll be able to listen to your favourite newsletters or articles on the web. For that, you will be required to instruct the Google Assistant to read the text out loud. In simple words, open the assistant and say, "Hey Google, read aloud," and your work's done. Can anything be simpler than that? Well, we doubt it. However, the pace at which the technology is advancing, who knows if there are even more minimalist concepts yet to arrive on the world stage.