We have been in the business of speech-enabling web sites since 1999, date at which I had the idea to bring text-to-speech into the arena of web sites. What was my motivation for doing so? I realised that a certain number of people around me had problems or felt uncomfortable reading text found on web sites. Sure, screen readers were already around and TTS had been built into operating systems but these options were simply not used by these users who I questioned hard about how they would like web sites to function. On the other side I thought to myself that for a web site owner it would be a useful feature to help users get an easier and free access to the audio version of their content without having to take care and worry about developing, installing, maintaining and updating this themselves. The combination of those 2 findings gave birth to ReadSpeaker which was commercially launched in Sweden back in 2001. At the beginning I had a very focused idea of which web site owners this would appeal to. I started approaching the public sector as well as web sites that were aimed at disability groups. At the beginning the end users who I thought about were mainly people who suffered from dyslexia and other various reading disabilities. Then a strange thing happened. I started getting feedback from users that I had not even thought of would use ReadSpeaker. These were senior citizens who appreciated the comfort of having the choice between reading or listening the text content of web sites. These were foreigners living in Sweden who liked to be able to listen to Swedish instead of reading it. These were students who could listen to lessons by saving the mp3 file to their mobile devices. These were “information workers” who in their fast paced environments needed to listen to web content while taking care of other tasks at the same time. These were….well you got me, the circle of users kept and keeps on getting bigger and bigger. This trend also had an effect on the customers that we started approaching and that were also increasingly contacting us. From the narrower group of public and disability web sites, we started implementing ReadSpeaker on a greater variety of areas like the banking sector, the insurance companies, transport organisations, online media, etc. What happened next was very interesting, but more on that in another (soon to come) post :-)