¿Do you remember Dr. Sbaitso? How funny was to chat with this electronic psycologist…he could respond to almost everything. But the most amazing was that your now archaic 286 CPU could speak! This was 20 years ago!
At present, text to speech (TTS) engines are almost everywhere: GPS devices, translators, robots, …and of course, smartphones ;)
Starting from v.1.6, Android has an embedded TTS engine accessible to all developers. What’s really cool is that you can choose the TTS engine you want to use. Your apps won’t be limited to the default one bundled with Android. Just go to Settings -> Voice input & output.
Several engines are available…Pico TTS is the default one bundled with Android, it’s pretty simple and includes only 5 different languages (English, French, German, Italian and Spanish) but will be more than enough in most circumstances. A free alternative is eSpeak TTS, based on opensource speech synthesis technology. It includes more than 30 different languages like Greek, Chinese or even Latin! Download
Although very well implemented, with these engines you will soon notice the electronic voice….
SVox is a free TTS engine, but you will need to pay US$2,99 per voice. It may seem quite expensive but the quality of the voices, which seem very natural, makes it worth the price.
In the next weeks, movin’App will release its first TTS enabled application for Android. ¡Hola! Spanish hand’App will teach you basic spanish phrases :)