Nike LunarGlide+ with Nike+ In the relatively recent past, the only devices capable of connecting to the internet were computers. This, in its own right, was a marvel at the time, but few could have imagined just how diverse connected devices were to become. Today, there is an entire Internet of Things – everyday devices which are interconnected with one another, and with the ability to connect to the internet. Clocks, phones, household appliances, televisions, and even automobiles, to name just a few, are all a part of this growing Internet of Things. Connectivity enhances these devices in many ways, making them easier to use, readily upgradeable, and increasingly interactive. While connectivity at face value offers innumerable benefits, there is always room for improvement. One of the ways in which the Internet of Things is being enhanced, right now, is the use of audio and text-to-speech technology. In what would have been seen as purely science fiction prior to the internet age, cloud-based text-to-speech technology gives a literal voice to many of the items connected on the Internet of Things. Everything from your alarm clock to your dishwasher, and industrial appliances to medical devices, can, essentially, talk. Just as connected devices have, for many people, enhanced day-to-day life, audio capabilities and text to speech enhance the connected devices themselves. Audio interactivity improves ease of use, and allows users to utilize devices in the way that is most convenient for them. Appliances can alert users to the need for maintenance, or simply tell them when a cycle is done. Apps of all types can be brought to life in a way that is convenient and accessible to users. The possibilities are limited only by imagination. Consumers are now starting to see products that analyze their consumption behaviors thanks to new connectivity features. Connected devices and apps are now expected to be versatile and interactive, and users naturally gravitate toward those devices which offer both features. As time goes on, the Internet of Things will only encompass more and more devices. In the end, enhanced technology is about convenience, and improving day-to-day life. Cloud-based text-to-speech is a cost-effective, easy way to add that enhancement in a way that users of the many connected devices available will truly embrace. Image Credit: Yutaka Tsutano