Breaking the Language Barrier
Press Release March 8th, 2005

Listening instead of reading

Linguatec Presents the Voice Output Program Voice Reader

At the CeBIT 2006 the Munich language technology specialist Linguatec presents Voice Reader, a novel voice output program that provides an astonishingly natural-sounding speech quality hardly distinguishable from a human voice. You can listen to any text you like on your PC or also - for instance on an MP3 player – on the go.

For decades talking computers have been a standard feature of science fiction films, and in the form of a synthetic nasal voice this fiction has also become reality. Such text-to-speech systems, however, have so far been better at amusing the listener than at serving any truly useful application.

A New Generation of Voice Output

The new Linguatec Voice Reader is based on the latest TTS technology and linguistic pre-processors. These are capable of analyzing sentence structure and then, with the help of extensive phonetic libraries, generating a voice output hardly distinguishable from a human voice: the intonation sounds natural, subordinate clauses are easily recognizable and the entire presentation makes a surprisingly lifelike impression. At request the user can, in addition to hearing the speaker, also see her: a pleasant virtual newsreader reads out the texts, perfectly synchronized.

Freedom through Mobility

Linguatec has paid special attention to mobility in developing Voice Reader. "In the age of MP3 people have access to audio files practically anytime and anywhere, whether it be with an iPod, a cell phone, or in the car," says Dr. Reinhard Busch, managing director of Linguatec, explaining the strategy of his company. "What is more obvious, than to use these devices not only for listening to music, but also for a new form of reading. Listen to your most recent emails in the car or to have interesting articles you’ve downloaded from the Internet read to you while jogging. Particularly those who have little time or inclination to constantly sit in front of a screen will appreciate this." With one click Voice Reader can transform text documents to MP3 files, which can then be transferred to any MP3 player. iPod owners have it even easier: if they want, they can, for example, have Outlook automatically transfer all new emails to their iPod.

Why Listening is Better than Reading

The University of Regensburg has thoroughly tested Voice Reader in a recently published study. It was clearly shown that the use of Voice Reader reduces text processing time and markedly improves text comprehension. The absorption capacity for listening was 29% higher than that for reading. The best results were achieved by test persons who simultaneously read and listened to a text. Here the improvement compared to those who just read the text was an impressive 44%.

"Whether on the go with an MP3 player or working at the computer, to save time or to relax, to improve absorption capacity or for error correction: we see a great potential for the application of Voice Reader – internationally as well. That’s why we provide this program not only for German texts, but also are developing packages for seven additional languages," explains Dr. Busch.

Linguatec Voice Reader with the German language package is now on the market for Euro 49.00. Additional language packages for English, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish and Czech will be published in the course of this spring. Linguatec Voice Reader can be seen and heard at the CeBIT in hall 3, stand E55. You can test Voice Reader free of charge at http://www.linguatec.net/online/voicereader/index.shtml.

Languages:
German, American English, British English, French, Canadian French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish, Mexican Spanish, Czech

Linguatec Voice Reader (per language) 49.00 EUR

For more information visit www.personal-translator.de and www.linguatec.de;

Press contact:
Frau Elisabeth Bauer
Linguatec Sprachtechnologien GmbH
Gottfried-Keller-Str. 12
D-81245 München
Tel.: +49-89-89 66 64-152
e.bauer@Linguatec.de
www.linguatec.de


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