Speech synthesis Stories March 30, 2016

Rather unceremoniously, Google began rolling out a new, more natural voice for its Now assistant last week. The first official acknowledgement of the voice comes in Nat & Lo’s newest video, which shows how the voice was made and offers a nice primer on the history and work behind text-to-speech.

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Speech synthesis Stories January 17, 2014

Chrome 33 beta brings Custom Elements, speech synthesis API, & web payments on Mac

Following the release of Chrome 32 on Google’s stable release channel, today Chrome 33 has moved into beta bringing access to Custom Elements, a Web Speech API for speech recognition and synthesis, and more. The new Custom Elements will allow developers to add new HTML elements in web applications in “much cleaner ways” as highlighted by Google in the sample code for a chat app above. With the spec developers will able to:

  1. Define new HTML/DOM elements
  2. Create elements that extend from other elements
  3. Logically bundle together custom functionality into a single tag
  4. Extend the API of existing DOM elements

The release also includes access to the Web Speech API for adding speech recognition and synthesis features to web pages. Google gives the example of dictations being “synthesized to play back in a different language.” Google described some of the other updates in the release including the availability of the requestAutocomplete API for easily implementing web payments on Mac:

Other web platform changes in this release

  • The requestAutocomplete API for easy web payments is now available on Mac.
  • The Page Visibility API has been unprefixed.
  • WebFont downloading has been optimized so that fonts (at the median) are available before Blink layout is done, meaning that the net latency impact of using a webfont is usually zero.
  • The Blink CSS Animations and Transitions implementations are now powered by the newWeb Animations model. This change should not affect developers or sites; let us know if it does.
  • Chrome now supports the latest version of the Web Notification API. We’ll be deprecating support for the legacy API down the road, so please update your websites if they’re using it.

Speech synthesis Stories February 28, 2013

Google Translate to add dialects for text-to-speech feature?

As noted by the unofficial Google Operating System blog, Google could soon add the option to select a dialect for certain languages in its text-to-speech feature within Google Translate. The option is currently hidden in Translate’s source code, according to the report, and it would allow users to hear various dialects like American, British, and Australian for English.

The text-to-speech feature will allow you to select the dialect for languages like English, Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese. It’s nice to compare American English, British English and Australian English.

The report also noted hints of other features that aren’t currently available, including phrasebook and dictionary features.

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