Google Chrome pioneers online text-to-speech

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Wednesday, 30 March 2011

For many users, whether they use assistive technology or not, text input is a hassle. Touch-typing on a keyboard is not easy for everyone, and typing on a smartphone screen can be literally hit and miss.

The latest testing version of Google's Chrome now includes the ability for web developers to make individual text areas accept voice input as well as regular typing.

If you're using the latest Chrome beta, you can test the demo online (opens in new window). If you're not yet, you can download the Chrome beta (opens in new window).

From Webdragon's testing, the voice input is more accurate with American accents, but it still works well for common words spoken in an Australian accent.

For now, this is a Chrome-only feature, and needs specific support from a website before it will work. Nevertheless, it's an exciting prospect for people with an interest in accessibility, as well as general users.

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