What Is Text to Speech Software Used For?
Text to speech software is a trailblazing form of technology that uses recorded audio of the human voice to convert text into artificial speech. As we advance into a voice-first world, text to speech software is growing more sophisticated and enabling a number of new capabilities that many would have previously considered unimaginable. A number of industries have taken note, and all signs point to the adoption of innovative text to speech software as the new trend that is bound to take the working world by storm.
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Although you may have heard a lot of talk about the capabilities of text to speech software lately, you may be left wondering how it will actually impact your everyday life. Or, to put it more bluntly: will you be engaging in stimulating conversation with your dishwasher any time soon?
The truth is that text to speech (and ‘speech to text’) technology, while still in their early stages, are being embraced by a multitude of professional fields. The number of companies making use of text to speech software is only predicted to grow—and at exponential rates—so there’s no better time to jump on the bandwagon.
In this post, we’ll reveal how synthetic text to speech voices are created in the first place, and we’ll highlight five key industries where text to speech is already proving to be a game-changing technology.
How Text to Speech Voices Are Created
You may be surprised to learn that while many people believe the rise in text to speech signals a shift to a robotic, automated age, the most effective text to speech voices are actually crafted using human voices. As you likely already know, whether you’re publishing interactive voice ads to be delivered via smart speakers, or producing a series of elearning modules, it is important that you build a consistent brand voice in order to enhance brand recall and work toward sustaining a cohesive sonic brand.
Using a human voice as the basis for your synthetic text to speech voice can work wonders for helping your message resonate with your audience on a deeper, more intimate level. Neuroimaging studies have even found that when two people are speaking and they really connect with one another, both of their brains synchronize with one another. However, “this level of natural brain synchronizing will never be able to happen between a human and a computer.”
If you’re looking for a custom synthetic voice for your brand, then look no further. We’re pros at marshalling well-suited voice actors to record approximately 2-3 hours of speech in order to build your original synthetic voice engine.
So, how can introducing text to speech solutions to your workflow benefit your business? Here’s an exploration of the main ways that text to speech software will help propel your company into the voice-first era.
The 5 Key Industries Using Text to Speech Software
Text to speech and speech to text are both still emerging fields of technology that have yet to live up to their full potential. That means that it’s an exciting time to stake your claim in the realm of speech synthesis. While there are a number of key industries where the technology has already succeeded at making a dent, only time will tell how ubiquitous text to speech will be one day in the future.
Without further ado, here are some of the key use cases for text to speech:
Banking and Finance
Since text to speech software has begun to penetrate the financial services industry, it’s safe to say that the integration of the technology has paid off (no pun intended). Beyond the ability to check your finances and the stock market on the go, using nothing more than voice commands, text to speech can be used to enhance security and improve the customer experience by making it more accessible, dynamic, and personalized.
Fintech, which is short for financial technology, is a growing field that is changing the way financial services are offered. With text to speech software, “customers can pre-define a list of favorites that allows them to transfer money into these accounts by name of individual or entity rather than by inputting 9-16 digit account numbers.” By cutting out the need to remember various passwords, the banking experience becomes more enjoyable and less burdensome.
HSBC was among the first banks to launch voice recognition services as part of its banking experience. Mobile banking customers were now able to access their accounts without providing passwords or other data. “This marked a leap toward a new direction in biometric authentication to the financial services sector,” writes Codete.
Travel and Tourism
The travel and tourism industries have perennially struggled to fluently communicate with visitors from a variety of linguistic backgrounds. Well, by harnessing text to speech software, companies in the hospitality industry can make it easier for people to get around and offer tours in numerous languages, all at the same time.
One of the great benefits of text to speech is how it can be used to help travellers get from point A to point B. The technology can lend itself to “PA systems sharing real-time information, travel announcements in airports, train stations, and other transportation hubs, and self-service ticketing options in public areas that offer instructions in your spoken language of choice.”
Text to speech software can also enable the creation of self-guided audio tours powered by synthetic voices. By inputting the transcription of the tour into your synthetic voice engine, text to speech software can allow the tour of a museum, monument, or other points of interest to be spoken aloud to your audience in the language of their preference.
Mapping and navigation software is another field that makes use of text to speech. “Apps like Google Maps and Apple Maps are designed to automatically read turn-by-turn directions aloud using text-to-speech technology,” writes Business Insider.
The opportunities with text to speech in the travel industry don’t stop at vacations and trips for leisure. Business travel and corporate conferences can also stand to gain a lot by adopting text to speech solutions, making travel more accessible for many, regardless of the language they speak.
When a customer or client gives your company a call, the last thing you want is for them to be met with the sound of dead air. This is why it’s important to assemble a strong interactive voice response (IVR) system. Text to speech can be used to offer customized messaging that the caller can engage with, and it can generate words from a customer’s records that are read back to them in a friendly, professional voice.
Even addressing a customer by name can go a long way toward gaining their trust. “Everybody loves hearing his or her own name,” writes customer experience expert IST Networks. “Addressing someone by name creates a trigger in that person’s brain that says, ‘I’m being spoken to on an individual level.’”
Conversely, speech to text software has proven an incredibly useful tool in telephony. By converting speech recorded from a call into accurate text, you can save transcripts of any spoken interaction, which are later searchable by date and keyword. These transcripts can be used for employee training and establishing best practices.
Speech to text software, also known as automated speech recognition (ASR), can also be used “to create transcripts of conversations for use with speech analytics applications, to allow companies greater insight into the customer experience.”
The more convenient and meaningful you can make the customer experience, the better, and both text to speech and speech to text technology represent a step toward achieving this.
Another professional domain that has been revolutionized by text to speech software is the automotive industry. When you think about it, TTS and automobiles are a perfect match. Driving is an activity that necessarily requires an individual’s full attention, but there are regularly instances where a driver must double-check directions, or briefly look away from the road to perform an action like changing the radio station or adjusting the car temperature. Integrating text to speech software into a vehicle’s system is an optimal way to make driving safer and more convenient with voice-enabled, hands-free controls.
“Car manufacturers are increasingly demanding embedded speech solutions in their GPS and navigation systems, as well as their telematics systems,” ReadSpeaker reports. When car navigation systems are combined with media and phone controls, drivers will have the opportunity to stay connected without the temptation to look down at their phone.
Given the personalized nature of text to speech software, a driver can receive custom audio directions that guide them to work, back home, and anywhere else the driver needs to go. Text to speech software can also read text messages—or even an entire email—back to a driver, and vehicles equipped with speech to text capabilities can allow drivers to dictate the message they’d like to send in return, all without taking their hands from the wheel.
The presence of voice recognition technology coming built-in with new automobiles is only going to accelerate with the rise of the ‘Internet of Things.’ When a vehicle is ‘connected,’ so to speak, it can even enable “outbound communications between dealerships and customers for items like appointment confirmations, scheduled service reminders, and promotion and sales updates.”
Text to speech software for automobiles make all of these functions possible, and ultimately, allow drivers to get around easier while keeping their eyes exactly where they’re meant to be: on the road.
Text to speech software presents the opportunity to bring static content, like ebooks, PDFs, and other training documents, to life. This technology is highly beneficial when you need to convert long passages of text into playable audio. Instead of hiring a voice actor to read hours upon hours of technical materials, your text to speech voice can automatically render your words into speech.
Opting for text to speech as a producer of elearning also means that you’re allowing your learners to partake in bimodal learning. When educational or training content is presented in both audio and visual formats, there is shown to be a higher rate of learner retention.
Text to speech can also serve as an aid for students with learning disabilities. “Studies who have been diagnosed with dyslexia did benefit from the use of TTS software,” reports Reading Rockets, noting that they “saw improvements in motivation to read, improved comprehension, and improved fluency.”
Other features of text to speech software for learning, including word prediction features and phonetic spell checking, can help “younger students who still struggle with reading or pronouncing new words,” as well as “students who commute and have limited time to read.”
While the technology is valuable for young learners, text to speech software is also well worth integrating into your corporate compliance training or microlearning apps, for ongoing training outside of the traditional classroom. When you use text to speech, you can easily translate your corporate training into a new language, and instantly generate a spoken delivery to go along with it using text to speech software.
The Benefits of Adopting Text to Speech Software for Your Business
Text to speech can be used as an assistive technology that helps people with visual impairment, medical conditions that have impacted their voice, and learning disabilities. Read all about the ways that text to speech is helping to build a more accessible world.
Text to speech is scalable. Once you have a custom text to speech voice, you can input immense amounts of data and have them instantly converted into audio recordings. Text to speech is ideal when you are working with large passages of text, because in many cases, hiring a voice actor to read each word may be a gruelling undertaking.
Text to speech software allows you to listen to text content on the go. This can reduce screen time and enable learning and consumption while one is doing other things, so they don’t have to be staring at the page or screen.
When you’re going to be customizing your words on the regular, it will be more inexpensive in the long run to create a tailored synthetic voice for your brand then hire a voice actor anew each time to record your new content.
Heightened web presence
When you offer an audio version of your content in addition to a text version, it will be more accessible to a wider audience, who will choose whether to read or listen to content based on preferences. The more options available, the more of a web presence you can build out.
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