Lissa (lissalysikan) wrote in text_is_life,

Simple way to talk to non-readers

After dealing with people who refuse to read what I write, I came up with a simple solution. Using a tablet computer I write what I want to say and let "festival" (an open source free text-to-speech application) say it. The tablet reads my writing well enough, OpenOffice does spellchecking to get it closer, and festival gets it out for those people that won't read my screen or whiteboard. Cheaper than buying a separate device to do the translating (and all the other devices I've seen require typing - using a tablet I can write faster than I could type).

I'm new here, but read back a few pages and saw comments relating to this issue without this option mentioned.
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How much of an investment are we talking about? I like your setup.
My tablet is expensive because I got it at employee discount and my guardian pays for everything so I get the best I can out of him :) but if you are going to buy a notebook - buy a tablet instead if this is a solution for you. They generally run only a little more than a notebook of the same power. The software is all free, open source.
Mine was retail 2000 for the notebook/tablet (convertible IBM Thinkpad X-series).

This solution worked for me because I would carry a notebook computer anyway. I think there are text-to-speech devices that are cheaper for people who don't normally carry computers.
If you have a tablet, you might look at some software I wrote ( ) which is free, and does speech with the built-in synthesis engine in Windows XP (you can buy third-party voices that are quite good, much better than Festival).

Of course I'd recommend looking at things like some of the Dynavox line - they might be right for you.

As for cheaper devices, I doubt it. There's only a handful of devices under $2000. There are plenty above $10,000.
That's a cool app. I'll be downloading it and trying it out. Plans to make an OS-independent version? (I use linux as my main OS because I find it easier to use).
At this time, there's no real plans to make it OS-independent, it relies significantly on Windows APIs. :/