According to The Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity, approximately 20% of the population suffers from some form of dyslexia. Reading difficulties can make most online content difficult to access.
Assistive tech is critical to making ordinary content accessible. Figuring out what is text to speech isn’t easy as most people don’t use it regularly. Voice is the future of the way people consume content.
Apple’s Siri has more than 500 million users, and these numbers are growing fast. Wondering how does text to speech work? Here’s what you need to know about text to speak.
What is Text to Speech?
Text to speech is a type of assistive technology. The TTS meaning is to read a piece of written content aloud. This is also why when you’re trying to figure out what is TTS, people sometimes refer to it as “read aloud technology.”
At the click of a button, TTS reads out the words on your digital device. It can be used by kids and adults with learning disabilities or simply by people who prefer to listen to a piece of content.
Many people also use it for writing and editing to maintain high focus levels. And it’s only getting better over the years.
Text to speech technology is compatible with practically every digital device around, including computers, tablets, and smartphones. These days, an increasing number of websites have this feature.
How Does Text to Speech Work?
So, what is text to speech engine, and how does it actually work?
The engine that powers text-to-speech technology consists of a frontend and a backend.
The front end converts raw text with symbols into written-out words. This is known as text normalization, and the backend then matches the text with phonetic transcriptions. It’s the backend that also creates the actual sound you hear. Experts refer to the backend as the synthesizer for this reason.
The actual voice you hear depends entirely on the service you’re using. Traditionally, these computerized voices sounded unrealistic, which is why many people haven’t used text to speech technology in the past.
But speech technology is improving rapidly, and AI is creating synthetic voices indistinguishable from real human voices.
Many of the more cutting-edge TTS programs now even have synthetic voices that can add intonation and emotion.
Advanced TTS solutions now offer several business benefits that make this assistive tech compatible with a wide audience.
Types of Text to Speech Tools
There are several types of text-to-speech tools you might come across. Here are the main types of TTS tools you can expect to encounter:
- Built-In – Devices like smartphones and computers already have built-in TTS solutions. These come part of the package and can be accessed at the click of a button or the tap of a fingerprint.
- Web–Based – Web-based tools can be found on many popular websites, including news sites. These are available on-site and are considered to be an additional web feature.
- Apps – Many apps are also available with TTS services. Depending on the app, these can vary heavily in quality. Several extensions can be added to browsers like Firefox and Chrome.
- Software – Dedicated software tends to be used by larger businesses. Literacy software programs use TTS to deliver more accessible content.
How Text to Speech Can Enhance Your Business
Text to speech is a piece of assistive technology that makes it easier to consume online content. This additional way to enjoy content is highly beneficial for those with literacy problems and visual impairments. WellSaid Labs makes it possible to convert text to speech and download and MP3 to be used in video, or as an audio transcription.
Businesses that want to integrate this technology can take advantage of some huge benefits that translate to a bigger bottom line.
Bigger Web Presence
An estimated 285 million people suffer from visual impairments. An ordinary webpage cannot access this market.
By adding TTS to your web pages, you’re allowing millions of people all around the world to access your brand. Since this assistive tech doesn’t interfere with the web experience of the non-disabled, it’s a move that can bolster your web presence without making any sacrifices.
Save Time and Money
TTS technology has never been more advanced. Many modern solutions are now based in the cloud.
Even if you run a small business, maintenance for text-to-speech is minimal. All it takes is a few lines of code to make online content speech-enabled automatically.
Create an Omnichannel Experience
TTS is part of the future of business across every industry. The Internet of Things (IoT) has altered the face of every organization. Make speech-enabled content part of your digital transformation, and you can create an omnichannel experience.
It’s also important for creating a customer experience that spreads across all devices. Modern TTS solutions are an asset to any digital transformation.
Enhance the User Experience
Aside from being assistive tech, TTS enhances the user experience by providing an alternative way to consume content.
By giving users a choice, you’re improving your business’s profile. This can enhance your word-of-mouth marketing drive in the long run.
Bolster Your Brand’s Reputation
Reputation is everything in the world of business. Users expect the businesses they work with to give back to the communities they serve.
In fact, 71% of consumers say that they’re more likely to buy from a business that aligns with their views and values.
As part of your drive toward social responsibility, implementing TTS speech technology on your digital platforms can directly contribute to your brand’s reputation.
Over time, a better corporate reputation will attract customers.
Improve Your Corporate Learning Programs
Are you focused on improving employee performance and ensuring your team can climb to that next level?
With TTS, you can enhance any corporate learning program. Putting together better corporate learning modules will inevitably lead to more engagement.
A better-educated team and a business that commits to employee advancement are more likely to attract and retain the top industry talent.
Text to Speech Technology Across Industries
Figuring out what is text to speech is simpler when viewed from a practical perspective. The fact is that TTS is in practically every industry. Its business benefits are undeniable and can have a direct impact on a company’s prospects.
Let’s take a look at how text-to-speech is being used across various industries.
Educational facilities are increasingly using TTS to help those with learning difficulties and low levels of literacy. Implementing TTS enables students with disabilities to access the same content as their peers.
It’s also helpful for those without disabilities to make learning modules more engaging. In an era of remote learning, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, TTS for instruction has played a pivotal role in delivering high-quality education.
Banking and Finance
The banking and finance industry was one of the first industries to embrace text to voice AI technology.
It’s mainly used to develop support for their customers. Rather than relying on human employees to provide basic services, TTS can do most of these jobs for them. Some examples include:
- Get details on bank accounts.
- Find out about different bank cards.
- Learn about new insurance policies.
It makes customer support faster, and the role of AI is making TTS more intelligent and better suited for serving the diverse needs customers have.
Another way in which the industry is using TTS is for security. Voice recognition technology offers a convenient and safe way for customers to access their accounts. With the help of speech, customers can bank and invest with peace of mind.
This assistive tech is also being used to help train new employees both in-person and remotely.
Perhaps the biggest hurdle within the tourism industry is the language barrier. Many people who require help don’t speak the local language, and many operatives may not speak the customer’s language.
TTS software can be used to communicate with people globally. It can provide vital announcements in many different languages and even makes self-ticketing a breeze.
Major tourist destinations all over the world have harnessed the power of text to voice as part of audio guides.
Car manufacturers are quickly moving away from the unreliable GPS systems of the past. TTS technology is in the latest vehicles to allow customers to find out how to get to where they need to be.
It can also perform tasks like adjusting the car’s temperature and turning on the radio. Like the banking and finance industry, voice recognition adds a better driving experience to advanced automobiles.
As motor vehicles become more advanced, TTS will become an even bigger staple of this global industry.
Telecommunications has always been a customer-centric industry. With more customers than ever before and fewer staff to attend to them, maintaining high-speed support is difficult.
TTS technology can be used to greet customers and route them to the department best suited to help them with their problems.
Providing excellent customer service within telecommunications can make or break a business. TTS is the difference between success and failure in this industry.
The news media have also implemented TTS. Individual journalists can use TTS to quickly convert their notes into an audio file. This cuts down on the amount of time spent manually creating audio files in real-time.
Major news corporations are also addressing the needs of the disabled by using on-site TTS to make sure everyone can find out more about the latest developments around the world.
International news publications can also access a wider audience by converting their articles into multiple languages. This is especially important for disseminating the news across multiple countries.
Understanding what is text to speech offers a variety of business benefits. Most people believe that this is no more than a piece of assistive tech, but it’s fast becoming a cornerstone of daily life.
Nearly every type of personal digital device now comes with this type of technology, and it’s never been simpler for businesses to incorporate it into their digital transformation strategies.
Be a business owner that’s on the cutting-edge of technology with WellSaid. Our AI-powered TTS solution is at the forefront of the industry and allows you to harness the full potential of TTS.Learn more about WellSaid and try it out for free for seven days now.