A New Voice in My House! October 26th, 2011
I started Sensory back in 1994. Since then, Sensory has put speech technologies into many hundreds of different consumer products. I have taken home many of these products to test out on my family and see what everyone thinks.
A strange and wonderful thing happened last week…I heard our phone ringing and a voice spoke out saying “incoming call from Joe Smith” (no it really wasn’t Joe Smith…) Anyways, the really cool thing was I recognized the voice telling me who was calling. It was Sensory’s Micro Text to Speech engine.
Turns out my wife had gotten tired of the old cordless phones in our house and had gone out and bought a new ATT System. Unbeknownst to her, she had purchased the ATT products which used Sensory’s Micro-TTS technology to announce the Caller ID.
Text to speech tends to be one of those technologies that the more memory you throw at it, the better it sounds. That’s because the best sounding TTS engines use “snippets” of real human recordings, and the more memory allowed, the more and bigger and more precise “snippets” can be used. I use the non-technical term “snippet” generically because different approaches use different sound units, ranging from diphones to even whole word or multi-word recordings.
For TTS to get really, really small, another approach needs to be used. Storing all those sounds will take MegaBytes of memory, and that added cost can have too big of a pricing effect on a low-cost consumer product. Sensory’s “micro-TTS” uses about 250K Bytes of total memory…that’s for the technology engine AND all the synthesized sound data. This is about 1000 times smaller than some of the high-end engines of today!
TTS has become an important area of investment for Sensory, and today there are many products on the market that use Sensory’s Micro-TTS, including products from ATT, VTech, Motorola, BlueAnt and others. Who knows…we may be already talking in your house too!