You’ve no doubt seen that we’ve made quite a few changes to our product and service offering on our homepage. Since revamping our site in June of last year, we’ve undergone quite a few internal changes and we wanted our website to reflect that. More modifications are coming, but in the meantime, we interviewed our founder and CEO, Niclas Bergström, to give you a rundown of our new offering.
Hi Niclas. Our website now features more products and services than before. Can you briefly describe our new product and service offering?
Before, our site mainly focused on speech-enabling websites, but we have always done much more than just that. The offerings we have wanted to put forward are in the three categories “Audio Production”, “Application Development”, and “Accessible Publishing”. We have also chosen to deliver some of the new services through a soon to be released Web Application Service Platform which will make it easier for our customers to sign up and start using services on their own and pay by credit card.
Audio Production: Some of our customers are interested in using our text-to-speech capabilities to just produce audio files that can be used instead of human speakers. Audio files that would be used either online or offline. For example in IVR systems, in PowerPoint presentations or e-learning. For this, we offer the new TTS Producer Audio Production service. Others want to integrate an automated speech production service, like when they have an authoring tool themselves or when used together with their own audio book production system. For these needs we have developed our new Audio Production API.
Application Development: All software and all applications could be speech-enabled. Unlike the production service API, where audio files are more of a static nature, we have many customers that are looking for the possibility to use dynamic streaming and high capacity solutions to produce text to speech over the Internet. We have developed a brand new Speech Cloud API solution that is very easy to use from any programming environment. It could be used in mobile applications, Internet connected hardware (such as Smart-TV’s or Set-Top boxes), web applications, or interactive Flash programs. We are supplying full documentation as well as example code in different programming languages.
Accessible Publishing: This area is pretty wide and ranges from speech-enabling online e-book readers using either our standard product ReadSpeaker Enterprise Highlighting or more customized solutions based on our Speech Cloud API to even more advanced document conversion services, advanced PDF text extraction software, and Digital Audio Book production systems – like the all new ReadSpeaker Narrator. And of course, here you would also find our online document viewer ReadSpeaker docReader. In the Accessible Publishing area we also offer full workflow solutions including a selection of our services in combination with consultancy around manual or automatic PDF tagging.
Actually, we have had solutions to do most of these things before, such as DAISY production, TTS production, and customized API solutions. However, as we see a growing demand and more customers wanting these kinds of services, we decided to re-develop some of them, develop some new services, and package them better to adapt to what the market needed. This means that we have over 10 years of experience in delivering these kind of services. In some cases we were a bit too early – we launched the first ever server based TTS based DAISY Digital Audio Book production system back in 2003, when the market was not really there yet.
How do these products and services fit in with our existing online text-to-speech products, such as ReadSpeaker Enterprise Highlighting?
We think that this is a great complement to the web reading services such as ReadSpeaker Enterprise Highlighting. Different customers have different needs when it comes to TTS. It is not only about speech-enabling a website or online documents. What we do is that we simply make more related services more easily available for those who need them. Since we have a long experience also in other kinds of services then web reading, we should take advantage of that instead of hiding them away in a box named “other products”.
Does this mean that we are moving away from our online text-to-speech services?
Not at all. In fact, there are many positive synergies between the different kind of services. What we see when developing the new products for these new business areas, is that many new modules and features can also be used to further evolve the online web reading services.
Finally, how can our readers get more information about the new offering?
They can browse our website or contact us for more specific information regarding their needs.