|||||| Digital Press and Analysts News ||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||||
Digital Equipment Corporation
Maynard, Massachusetts 01754-2571
DIGITAL INTRODUCES DECTALK EXPRESS
New Lightweight, Portable Speech Synthesizer
Designed for Use at Work, Home, In Transit
MAYNARD, Mass. -- July 12, 1994 -- Strengthening its commitment to
physically challenged customers, Digital Equipment Corporation
today announced DECtalk Express Speech Synthesizer, a lightweight,
portable speech synthesis product providing expanded PC
capabilities for individuals who are blind or visually impaired or
have learning disabilities.
The DECtalk Express Speech Synthesizer -- when used in
conjunction with one of many supporting software applications and
any one of a broad range of computing platforms -- converts ASCII
text to synthesized speech output, allowing users to hear computer
monitor screen contents, database contents and other text
communicated via high-quality, natural-sounding DECtalk speech.
The product provides users access to a wide range of computer
applications, including word processing, spreadsheets, electronic
mail and database applications.
In other areas, DECtalk Express Speech Synthesizer may be used
for text-to-speech applications in education, entertainment,
personal use and other markets for non-telephone based speech
synthesis via external audio output.
Portable Unit Features Many Options
The portable, lightweight unit -- weighing less than one pound
and measuring 3.6" wide by 7.6" long by 1.25" high -- is designed
for use in the workplace, at home or in transit. Accessories --
such as a carrying case and Braille labeling -- facilitate
transportation and ease-of-use, and were designed with the needs
of individuals with disabilities in mind.
Other DECtalk Express Speech Synthesizer features include
(depending on software applications):
o nine natural-sounding and highly intelligible predefined
voices (four male, four female and one child)
o 75 to 650 words-per-minute speaking rate range, allowing
for uses from slow spelling to fast scanning
o user volume control
o comprehensive pronunciation rules and controls for pauses,
pitch and stress, providing enhanced naturalness and
accuracy of spoken text
o speech options, providing users the choice of having text
spoken by letter, word or phrase and having some, none or
all punctuation pronounced
o large integrated word dictionary
o word-by word indexing that allows for a direct match
between screen viewing and spoken text
o start-up and installation information in large print and on
an audiocassette tape
DECtalk Express Speech Synthesizer is equipped with a serial
port for connecting to PCs, allowing for use across a variety of
computer platforms, such as IBM compatibles, laptops, notebooks,
palmtops, workstations and Apple or Macintosh computers.
"Based on the popularity of DECtalk speech synthesis products,
we responded to a a genuine need for this same technology in a
portable application," says Ed Lazar, Manager of Digital's
Assistive Technology Group. "In addition to addressing needs
across many commercial markets, DECtalk Express Speech Synthesizer
offers increased independence and flexibility to PC users who are
blind, vision impaired or have learning disabilities. We've taken
the same unparalleled high-quality level of DECtalk speech and
developed a portable, lightweight unit that provides our customers
access to any number of office and home applications and uses."
Lazar also notes that DECtalk Express Speech Synthesizer is a
cost-effective solution for companies who wish to comply with the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which places greater
responsibility on employers to provide workplace accommodations for
employees who are physically challenged.
Pricing and Availability
DECtalk Express Speech Synthesizer is available now in the
United States, and may be ordered through DECdirect and Desktop
Direct by calling (800) 344-4825 or (800) 722-9332. Pre-purchase
technical assistance may be obtained by calling 1-800-722-9332.
DECtalk Express Speech Synthesizer is also available through a
network of Digital's Assistive Technology Value-Added Resellers.
The unit retails for $1195. Accessories include a carrying case,
headphones, a nine-pin RS232 connector, a two-foot cable and an
external power wall cube. A one-year warranty is included.
Digital Equipment Corporation is the world's leader in open
client/server solutions from personal computing to integrated
worldwide information systems. Digital's scalable Alpha AXP
platforms, storage, networking, software and services, together
with industry-focused solutions from business partners, help
organizations compete and win in today's global marketplace.
Note to Editors: Digital, the Digital logo, Alpha AXP, DECdirect,
Desktop Direct, DECtalk and DECtalk Express
Speech Synthesizer are trademarks of Digital
Electronic Editorial Contact: michael.dod...@mlo.mts.dec.com
Digital Press and Analysts News is sent as a courtesy to members of the
press, analyst and consulting community. For subscription information
Digital Equipment Corporation
Voice: 415-853-6566 FAX: 415-853-6537 Internet: pr-n...@pa.dec.com
All Digital press releases, fact sheets and backgrounders are archived on
ftp.digital.com in the /pub/Digital/info/pr-news directory.